bilateral

adjective
bi·​lat·​er·​al | \ (ˌ)bī-ˈla-t(ə-)rəl How to pronounce bilateral (audio) \

Definition of bilateral

1 : affecting reciprocally two nations or parties a bilateral treaty a bilateral trade agreement
2 : having two sides dealing with a bilateral problem
3 biology
a : of, relating to, or affecting the right and left sides of the body or the right and left members of paired organs bilateral nephrectomy
b : having bilateral symmetry

Other Words from bilateral

bilateralism \ (ˌ)bī-​ˈla-​t(ə-​)rə-​ˌli-​zəm How to pronounce bilateral (audio) \ noun
bilaterally adverb

Did you know?

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.

Examples of bilateral in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Mexico’s cooperation with the United States on immigration enforcement remains a central focus of the bilateral relationship. Washington Post, 4 May 2022 Trade Minister Dan Tehan said at a joint press conference with Goyal in Melbourne on Wednesday that the Australian-Indian bilateral relationship was growing strongly through the Quad. Rod Mcguirk, ajc, 6 Apr. 2022 But the international conflict, which lasted 11 days and ended with a bilateral cease-fire agreement, was only one of several spikes of antisemitism throughout 2021, according to the ADL. NBC News, 26 Apr. 2022 Mali's ruling junta announced in December that Russian trainers had arrived as part of a bilateral agreement with Russia. Carley Petesch, ajc, 5 Apr. 2022 While some countries are sincere about bilateral agreements, that isn’t the only level at which recruitment happens. Stephanie Nolen, New York Times, 24 Jan. 2022 But the chances of bilateral cooperation on cybercrime have dimmed following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has killed more than 1,000 civilians, according to the United Nations, and made Putin an international pariah. Sean Lyngaas, CNN, 30 Mar. 2022 President Joe Biden begins his day in Brussels at 4:20 a.m. ET, conducting a bilateral meeting with European Commission President Ursula von Der Leyen before the leaders give a joint press statement at 4:30 a.m. ET. Byrick Klein,averi Harper, ABC News, 25 Mar. 2022 On Friday, Biden will travel to Warsaw, Poland, for a bilateral meeting with President Andrzej Duda. John Bacon, USA TODAY, 23 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of bilateral

1751, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About bilateral

Time Traveler for bilateral

Time Traveler

The first known use of bilateral was in 1751

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near bilateral

bilander

bilateral

bilateralistic

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for bilateral

Last Updated

13 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Bilateral.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bilateral. Accessed 16 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for bilateral

bilateral

adjective
bi·​lat·​er·​al | \ (ˈ)bī-ˈlat-ə-rəl, -ˈla-trəl How to pronounce bilateral (audio) \

Medical Definition of bilateral

1 : of, relating to, or affecting the right and left sides of the body or the right and left members of paired organs bilateral nephrectomy bilateral tumors of the adrenal glands
2 : having bilateral symmetry

Other Words from bilateral

bilateralism \ -​ˌiz-​əm How to pronounce bilateral (audio) \ noun
bilaterality \ (ˈ)bī-​ˌlat-​ə-​ˈral-​ət-​ē, -​ˌla-​ˈtral-​ How to pronounce bilateral (audio) \ noun, plural bilateralities
bilaterally \ (ˈ)bī-​ˈlat-​ə-​rə-​lē, -​ˈla-​trə-​lē How to pronounce bilateral (audio) \ adverb

bilateral

adjective
bi·​lat·​er·​al | \ ˌbī-ˈla-tə-rəl How to pronounce bilateral (audio) \

Legal Definition of bilateral

: affecting, obligating, or shared by both parties

Other Words from bilateral

bilaterally \ -​rə-​lē \ adverb

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!