situated away from the point of origin or attachment, as of a limb or bone; terminal.Compare proximal.
Dentistry. directed away from the sagittal plane or midline of the face, along the dental arch.Compare buccal(def 3), mesial(def 2).

Origin of distal

First recorded in 1800–10; dist(ant) + -al1
Related formsdis·tal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for distal

Contemporary Examples of distal

Historical Examples of distal

British Dictionary definitions for distal



anatomy (of a muscle, bone, limb, etc) situated farthest from the centre, median line, or point of attachment or originCompare proximal
Derived Formsdistally, adverb

Word Origin for distal

C19: from distant + -al 1
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 distal

1808, formed from distant + -al (1) on model of central, dorsal, ventral, etc.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

distal in Medicine




Anatomically located far from a point of reference, such as an origin or a point of attachment.
Situated farthest from the middle and front of the jaw, as a tooth or tooth surface.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.