[per-uh-nee-uh m]

noun, plural per·i·ne·a [per-uh-nee-uh] /ˌpɛr əˈni ə/. Anatomy.

the area in front of the anus extending to the fourchette of the vulva in the female and to the scrotum in the male.
the diamond-shaped area corresponding to the outlet of the pelvis, containing the anus and vulva or the roots of the penis.

Nearby words

  1. perineostomy,
  2. perineotomy,
  3. perineovaginal,
  4. perinephritis,
  5. perinephrium,
  6. perineural anesthesia,
  7. perineuritis,
  8. perineurium,
  9. perinuclear,
  10. period

Origin of perineum

1625–35; < New Latin < Greek períneon, períneos, perínaios, apparently equivalent to per(i)- peri- + ine-, ina-, stems of ineîn, inân to evacuate, empty + -(i)os, -(i)on noun suffix

Related formsper·i·ne·al, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for perinea


noun plural -nea (-ˈniːə)

the region of the body between the anus and the genital organs, including some of the underlying structures
the nearly diamond-shaped surface of the human trunk between the thighs
Derived Formsperineal, adjective

Word Origin for perineum

C17: from New Latin, from Greek perinaion, from peri- + inein to empty out

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 perinea



"region of the body between the anus and the genital organs" (jocularly called a taint), early 15c., from Medieval Latin perinaeon, Late Latin perineum, from Greek perinaion, perinaios, from peri- "near" (see peri-) + inan "to carry off by evacuation," of unknown origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for perinea



n. pl. per•i•ne•a (-nēə)

The portion of the body in the pelvis occupied by urogenital passages and the rectum, bounded in front by the pubic arch, in the back by the coccyx, and laterally by part of the hipbone.
The region between the scrotum and the anus in males, and between the posterior vulva junction and the anus in females.
Related formsper′i•neal (-nēəl) adj.

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

Science definitions for perinea



Plural perinea

The region between the scrotum and the anus in males, and between the posterior vulva and the anus in females.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.