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[prok-suh-muh l]
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  1. situated toward the point of origin or attachment, as of a limb or bone.Compare distal(def 1).

Origin of proximal

1720–30; < Latin proxim(us) next (superlative of prope near) + -al1
Related formsprox·i·mal·ly, adverbin·ter·prox·i·mal, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for proximal


  1. anatomy situated close to the centre, median line, or point of attachment or originCompare distal
  2. another word for proximate
Derived Formsproximally, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for proximal


1727, from Latin proximus "nearest, next" (see proximity) + -al (1). Related: Proximally.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

proximal in Medicine


  1. Nearer to a point of reference such as an origin, a point of attachment, or the midline of the body.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.