Definition of bilateral
- a bilateral treaty
- a bilateral trade agreement
- dealing with a bilateral problem
- bilateral nephrectomy
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bilateral.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Since the prefix bi- means "two" in Latin, bilateral means essentially "two-sided". In the days when there were two superpowers, the U.S. and the Soviet Union regularly engaged in bilateral arms negotiations; such negotiations are much less common today. Sometimes bilateral refers to two sides of the same thing. A bilateral hip replacement, for instance, replaces both hip bones in the same operation. And bilateral symmetry (a term often used by biologists) refers to the fact that, in many organisms (such as humans), the left side is basically the mirror image of the right side.
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