Origin of lateral

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


lat·er·al·ly, adverbpseu·do·lat·er·al, adjective
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Example sentences 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 forms of lateral

laterally, 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

Medical 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.

Other words from lateral

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