[loh-kuh l]
  1. pertaining to or characterized by place or position in space; spatial.
  2. pertaining to, characteristic of, or restricted to a particular place or particular places: a local custom.
  3. pertaining to a city, town, or small district rather than an entire state or country: local transportation.
  4. stopping at most or all stations: a local train.
  5. pertaining to or affecting a particular part or particular parts, as of a physical system or organism: a local disease.
  6. Medicine/Medical. (of anesthesia or an anesthetic) affecting only a particular part or area of the body, without concomitant loss of consciousness, as distinguished from general anesthesia.
  1. a local train, bus, etc.
  2. a newspaper item of local interest.
  3. a local branch of a union, fraternity, etc.
  4. a local anesthetic.
  5. Often locals.
    1. a local person or resident: primarily of interest to locals.
    2. a local athletic team: the locals versus the state champions.
  6. stamp(def 22).
  7. British Informal. a neighborhood pub.
verb (used without object)
  1. Informal. to travel by or take a local train or the like.

Origin of local

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English word from Late Latin word locālis. See locus, -al1
Related formslo·cal·ness, nounin·ter·lo·cal, adjectivein·ter·lo·cal·ly, adverbnon·lo·cal, adjective, nounnon·lo·cal·ly, adverbsu·per·lo·cal, adjectivesu·per·lo·cal·ly, adverbun·lo·cal, adjectiveun·lo·cal·ly, adverb
Can be confusedlocal locale locality location
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for nonlocal


  1. not of, affecting, or confined to a limited area or partthe nonlocal aspect of the psyche


  1. characteristic of or associated with a particular locality or area
  2. of, concerned with, or relating to a particular place or point in space
  3. med of, affecting, or confined to a limited area or partCompare general (def. 10), systemic (def. 2)
  4. (of a train, bus, etc) stopping at all stations or stops
  1. a train, bus, etc, that stops at all stations or stops
  2. an inhabitant of a specified locality
  3. British informal a pub close to one's home or place of work
  4. med short for local anaesthetic
  5. US and Canadian an item of local interest in a newspaper
  6. US and Canadian a local or regional branch of an association
  7. Canadian a telephone extension
Derived Formslocalness, noun

Word Origin for local

C15: via Old French from Late Latin locālis, from Latin locus place, locus
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 nonlocal



"pertaining to position," late 14c. (originally medical, "confined to a particular part of the body"), from Old French local (13c.) and directly from Late Latin localis "pertaining to a place," from Latin locus "place" (see locus). The meaning "limited to a particular place" is from c.1500. Local color is from 1721, originally a term in painting; meaning "anything picturesque" is from c.1900.



early 15c., "a medicament applied to a particular part of the body," from local (adj.). Meaning "inhabitant of a particular locality" is from 1825. The meaning "a local train" is from 1879; "local branch of a trade union" is from 1888; "neighborhood pub" is from 1934.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

nonlocal in Medicine


  1. Affecting or confined to a specific part of the body; not general or systemic.
  1. Local anesthesia.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.