\ ˈā-nᵊl How to pronounce anal (audio) \

Definition of anal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, situated near, or involving the anus an anal fin
2 psychoanalytic theory
a : of, relating to, characterized by, or being the stage of psychosexual development which follows the oral stage (see oral entry 1 sense 3) and during which the child is concerned especially with his or her feces
b : of, relating to, characterized by, or being personality traits (such as parsimony, meticulousness, and ill humor) considered typical of fixation at the anal stage of development : anal-retentive an anal disposition often used in nontechnical contexts to describe someone as extremely or excessively neat, careful, or preciseI have a mania for neatness in some matters that is almost anal.— Joseph Heller

Definition of anal (Entry 2 of 2)

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Other Words from anal


anally \ ˈā-​nᵊl-​ē How to pronounce anally (audio) \ adverb

Examples of anal in a Sentence

Adjective He can be pretty anal about keeping his office neat.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective More cheerfully, younger Chinese are not as superstitious, and so are less likely to believe that a baby born without an anal opening, for example, must be cursed and fit only for abandonment. The Economist, "Chaguan For people in China, adopting Chinese children is getting easier," 6 June 2020 Since the attack, India has amended its rape laws, widening the definition to include anal and oral penetration. Vedika Sud, CNN, "OPINION: Four men have been executed over a rape and murder. It's no victory for women," 19 Mar. 2020 EcoHealth Alliance researchers have long collected blood, urine, feces, and oral and anal swabs from wild bats in China and elsewhere in an effort to solve such puzzles. Meredith Wadman, Science | AAAS, "NIH’s axing of bat coronavirus grant a ‘horrible precedent’ and might break rules, critics say," 30 Apr. 2020 Anderson assaulted and abused the wrestler on at least 35 occasions, or 70 total acts of nonconsensual anal penetration and genital fondling, between 1984 and 1989 when the wrestler was between the ages of 17 and 22, the suit alleges. David Jesse, Detroit Free Press, "U-M doctor's accusers: University allowed horror show to go on for decades," 5 Mar. 2020 Aside from skipping the necessary prep work, forgetting to use lube is one of the main reasons why anal can be unpleasant for some people. Sophie Saint Thomas, refinery29.com, "These Lubes Will Make Anal Sex SO Much Better," 8 Apr. 2020 In 2018, inspectors at one of Mr. Scheiner’s nursing homes in Balch Springs, Texas, spotted a staff member who failed to wash or sanitize her hands before cleaning a resident’s anal area. Jesse Drucker, New York Times, "Trump Administration Is Relaxing Oversight of Nursing Homes," 14 Mar. 2020 Current tests for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, look for genetic material of the virus, for instance in saliva or nasal, oral, or anal swabs, using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Dennis Normile, Science | AAAS, "Singapore claims first use of antibody test to track coronavirus infections," 27 Feb. 2020 At one visit, in the spring of 2017, Rannestad could not complete a pelvic exam because of the extreme swelling around Addimando’s vaginal and anal areas. Rachel Louise Snyder, The New Yorker, "When Can a Woman Who Kills Her Abuser Claim Self-Defense?," 20 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'anal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of anal


1769, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for anal


see anus

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Statistics for anal

Last Updated

9 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Anal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/anal. Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for anal

How to pronounce anal (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of anal

biology : of, relating to, or located near the anus
informal : extremely or overly neat, careful, or precise
\ ˈā-nᵊl \

Kids Definition of anal

: relating to the anus
\ ˈān-ᵊl How to pronounce anal (audio) \

Medical Definition of anal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or situated near the anus the anal opening anal fissures
2a : of, relating to, or characterized by the stage of psychosexual development in psychoanalytic theory that follows the oral stage and during which a child derives libidinal gratification from the expulsion and retention of the feces and conflict arises from parental demands regarding toilet training During the anal stage, from about 18 months to 3 years, the sphincter muscles become sensitive and controllable and bowel and bladder retention and elimination become a source of gratification.— David G. Myers, Psychology, 2001
b : of, relating to, or characterized by personality traits (as orderliness, frugality, and obstinacy) considered typical of fixation at the anal stage of development : anal-retentive often used in nontechnical contexts to describe someone as extremely or excessively neat, careful, or precise — compare genital sense 3, oral sense 3, phallic sense 2

Other Words from anal

anally \ -​ᵊl-​ē How to pronounce anally (audio) \ adverb

Medical Definition of anal (Entry 2 of 2)

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More from Merriam-Webster on anal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for anal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with anal

Spanish Central: Translation of anal

Nglish: Translation of anal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of anal for Arabic Speakers

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