Nearby words

  1. latently,
  2. later,
  3. later han,
  4. later on,
  5. laterad,
  6. lateral aberration,
  7. lateral ampullar nerve,
  8. lateral bud,
  9. lateral canal,
  10. lateral cartilage of nose

Origin of lateral

1590–1600; < Latin laterālis of the side, equivalent to later- (stem of latus) side + -ālis -al1

Related formslat·er·al·ly, adverbpseu·do·lat·er·al, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for lateral

British Dictionary definitions for lateral


/ (ˈlætərəl) /


of or relating to the side or sidesa lateral blow
phonetics (of a speech sound like l) pronounced with the tip of the tongue touching the centre of the alveolar ridge, leaving space on one or both sides for the passage of the airstream


a lateral object, part, passage, or movement
phonetics a lateral speech sound
botany a branch, leaf, or bud that grows out from the side of a stem or trunk
Derived Formslaterally, adverb

Word Origin for lateral

C17: from Latin laterālis, from latus side

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 lateral



early 15c., from Middle French latéral and directly from Latin lateralis "belonging to the side," from latus (genitive lateris) "side" (see oblate (n.)). As a noun, from 1630s, "a side part." As a type of pass to the side in U.S. football, it is attested from 1934. Related: Laterally.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for lateral


[ lătər-əl ]


Relating to or situated at or on the side.
Situated or extending away from the median plane of the body.
Relating to the left or right lateral region of the abdomen.


A lateral part, position, or appendage.
Related formslater•al•ly adv.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.