[ an-teer-ee-er ]
See synonyms for: anterioranteriorityanteriorly on

  1. situated before or at the front of; fore (opposed to posterior).

  2. going before in time or sequence; preceding; earlier: events anterior to the outbreak of war.

  1. Linguistics. (in distinctive feature analysis) articulated in the region extending from the alveolar ridge to the lips; alveolar, dental, or labial.

  2. (in animals and embryos) pertaining to or toward the head or forward end of the body.

  3. (in humans) pertaining to or toward the front plane of the body, equivalent to the ventral surface of quadrupeds.

  4. Botany. on the front side and away from the main axis, as the lower lip of a flower.

Origin of anterior

1535–45; <Latin, comparative of ante before, formed on model of posterior

Other words from anterior

  • an·te·ri·or·i·ty [an-teer-ee-awr-i-tee, -or-], /ænˌtɪər iˈɔr ɪ ti, -ˈɒr-/, noun
  • an·te·ri·or·ly, adverb
  • non·an·te·ri·or, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use anterior in a sentence

  • On the other hand, anteriority and posteriority exist in dimension as well as in numbers.

    Plotinos: Complete Works, v. 3 | Plotinos (Plotinus)
  • The ogive is, perhaps, very ancient; and authors dispute as to the anteriority of the Romanesque to the Gothic.

    Bouvard and Pcuchet | Gustave Flaubert
  • This anteriority of nature is a commonplace in philosophy: thus one says that the decrees of God have an order among themselves.

    Theodicy | G. W. Leibniz
  • We should here draw a distinction between the two senses of the a priori: anteriority and superiority.

    The Mind and the Brain | Alfred Binet
  • A simple physical mechanism may be a priori, in the sense of anteriority.

    The Mind and the Brain | Alfred Binet

British Dictionary definitions for anterior


/ (ænˈtɪərɪə) /

  1. situated at or towards the front

  2. earlier in time

  1. zoology of or near the head end

  2. botany (of part of a flower or leaf) situated farthest away from the main stem

Origin of anterior

C17: from Latin, comparative of ante before

Derived forms of anterior

  • anteriority (ænˌtɪərɪˈɒrɪtɪ), noun

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