Meaning of LATERAL in English

I. ˈlad.ərəl, -atərəl, -a.trəl adjective

Etymology: Latin lateralis, from later-, latus side + -alis -al; probably akin to Latin latus wide — more at latitude


a. : of or relating to the side : situated on, directed toward, or coming from the side

the lateral branches of a tree

a lateral view

b. obsolete

(1) : being, acting, or moving side by side

(2) of winds : blowing from the same general direction

c. : being to the right or left of a true course

lateral deviation



(1) of a body part : lying at or extending toward the right or left side : lying away from the median axis of the body

the lungs are lateral to the heart

(2) : being a body part so situated

the lateral branch of the axillary artery

b. botany : relating to, characteristic of, or borne upon the side of any organ or of the axis

a lateral bud

— compare basilar , median , terminal


(1) : situated to one side of and parallel to a main vein or mine working

a lateral vein or drift

(2) : being or relating to any horizontal underground workings as contrasted with shafts, raises, and winzes

lateral development

3. : having or characterized by a stocky thickset body-build and a short broad face

babies of the lateral type

— opposed to linear

4. : produced with the tongue forming an occlusion at some point along its longitudinally middle line but with an opening at one or both sides

l and l y are lateral

II. noun

( -s )

: something having a lateral situation, growth, or extension: as

a. : a side ditch or conduit (as in an irrigation, drainage, sewer, gas, or water system) — compare main

b. : a side branch from an electrical wiring or conduit system

c. : a drift to one side of and parallel to a main drift or haulage way

d. : a lateral pass in football

e. : a lateral tooth, scale, or other body part

f. : a lateral sound

III. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: lateral (II)

intransitive verb

: to throw a lateral pass

transitive verb

: to throw laterally

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.