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 Another type goes into the front inside part of the nostril, called the anterior nares, about as far as someone would stick their pinky finger in to pick their nose. Catherine Ho,, "Don’t want a long swab up your nose? Bay Area coronavirus test sites are trying alternatives," 15 June 2020 Neural spines Chevrons Muscle Cross section Vertebra 4 Cross section Vertebra 31 The anterior tail is stiffer and more muscular, providing propulsion. National Geographic, "Reconstructing a gigantic aquatic predator," 29 Apr. 2020 Medics found a hard, bullet-like object in the woman's right lower anterior thoracic wall below the right breast. Amy Woodyatt, CNN, "Woman's breast implant deflects bullet, saving her life," 21 Apr. 2020 Black landed a bit short on her vault at the final all-around event at the world championships in Stuttgart, Germany, and reportedly ruptured both the anterior talofibular and syndesmosis ligaments. Lori Nickel, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Less than 5 months after ankle surgery, Canadian gymnast Ellie Black makes a strong comeback in Milwaukee," 7 Mar. 2020 For the second part of the experiment, Keysers and his team used anesthesia to temporarily numb the anterior cingulate cortexes of the rats who had showed harm aversion. National Geographic, "THE BEST OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX," 5 Mar. 2020 For the centennial, perhaps any commemoration will be beamed directly to your anterior cingulate cortex, or thereabouts. Caitlin Lovinger, New York Times, "Takes Stock?," 14 Feb. 2020 Follow-up studies in which the rubber hand was threatened by a stabbing motion with a needle showed increased activity in the anterior cingulate cortex, indicating the anticipation of pain. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Study finds that the popular rubber hand illusion could be used to treat OCD," 20 Jan. 2020 That means cutting through lots of muscle and, according to medical commentary, a longer healing time than the anterior procedure. Hermine Saunders,, "Saunders: Facing preparation for surgery can be formidable, agonizing," 8 Dec. 2019

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

23 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Anterior.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for anterior


How to pronounce anterior (audio)

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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