an·​te·​ri·​or | \ an-ˈtir-ē-ər How to pronounce anterior (audio) \

Definition of anterior

1a : situated before or toward the front an anterior ligament
b : situated near or toward the head or part most nearly corresponding to a head
2 : coming before in time or development labor problems anterior to the strike

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Other Words from anterior

anteriorly adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for anterior



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Choose the Right Synonym for anterior

preceding, antecedent, foregoing, previous, prior, former, anterior mean being before. preceding usually implies being immediately before in time or in place. the preceding sentence antecedent applies to order in time and may suggest a causal relation. conditions antecedent to the revolution foregoing applies chiefly to statements. the foregoing remarks previous and prior imply existing or occurring earlier, but prior often adds an implication of greater importance. a child from a previous marriage a prior obligation former implies always a definite comparison or contrast with something that is latter. the former name of the company anterior applies to position before or ahead of usually in space, sometimes in time or order. the anterior lobe of the brain

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Anterior generally appears in either medical or scholarly contexts. Anatomy books refer to the anterior lobe of the brain, the anterior cerebral artery, the anterior facial vein, etc. Scholar and lawyers may use anterior to mean "earlier in time or order". For example, supporters of states' rights point out that the individual states enjoyed certain rights anterior to their joining the union. And prenuptial agreements are designed to protect the assets that one or both parties acquired anterior to the marriage.

Examples of anterior in a Sentence

the anterior part of the brain the anterior chamber of the eye is bounded in front by the cornea
Recent Examples on the Web It is usually caused by damage to the fusiform gyrus in the posterior temporal lobe and anterior portion of the occipital lobe. Daniel Gibbs, Scientific American, "What It's Like to Have Face Blindness during the Pandemic," 21 Apr. 2021 During cross-examination from Nelson, Rich conceded that people with 90% blockage of the right coronary artery and a 75% blockage of the left anterior descending artery have died from a sudden heart attack. Bill Hutchinson, ABC News, "Key takeaways from the Derek Chauvin murder trial, Day 11," 12 Apr. 2021 By some estimates, 200,000 people tear their anterior cruciate ligaments (ACLs) in the United States each year, the vast majority of them women. Alex Hutchinson, Outside Online, "How Your Menstrual Cycle Affects Your Injury Risk," 18 Mar. 2021 Flex your toes toward your head to stretch the anterior ankle ligaments. Jen Murphy, WSJ, "An Ironman Coach’s Swim-Strength Workout, No Water Required," 5 Dec. 2020 Others, such as Perez, have shown hyperconnectivity between motor regions and salience network areas such as the insula and the anterior cingulate. Diana Kwon, Scientific American, "Decoding a Disorder at the Interface of Mind and Brain," 1 Nov. 2020 The second was the anterior insula, which is folded into the deep fissure between the parietal and frontal lobes. Sara Harrison, Wired, "Your Brain Prefers Happy Endings. That’s Not Always Smart," 22 Oct. 2020 On Sunday, at least six players tore their anterior cruciate ligaments, or were feared to have torn them, as of Monday afternoon. Lorenzo Reyes, USA TODAY, "After injury-riddled Week 2, here are the 5 NFL teams most affected by the injury bug," 22 Sep. 2020 One study in Washington state, published June 3 in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that anterior nares swabs are just as accurate in diagnosing the coronavirus in symptomatic patients as nasopharyngeal swabs. Catherine Ho,, "Don’t want a long swab up your nose? Bay Area coronavirus test sites are trying alternatives," 15 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'anterior.' 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 anterior

1541, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for anterior

Latin, comparative of ante before — more at ante-

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Time Traveler for anterior

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The first known use of anterior was in 1541

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Last Updated

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Anterior.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for anterior



English Language Learners Definition of anterior

technical : near or toward the front of something (such as the body)


an·​te·​ri·​or | \ an-ˈtir-ē-ər How to pronounce anterior (audio) \

Medical Definition of anterior

1 : relating to or situated near or toward the head or toward the part in headless animals most nearly corresponding to the head
2 : situated toward the front of the body : ventral used in human anatomy because of the upright posture of humans

Other Words from anterior

anteriorly adverb

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