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 nephrectomyb : having bilateral symmetry
bilateralismplay \-t(ə-)rə-ˌli-zəm\ noun
Recent Examples of bilateral from the Web
China, over the last decade or so, has been prioritizing bilateral and multilateral relations, rather than alliances.
The last India-Pakistan bilateral series took place in India in 2012, though the two rivals continue to play each other sporadically during international tournaments.
The administration is now in the position of trying to reap the benefits that the Pacific trade agreement could have yielded while operating in the framework of the bilateral trade agreements that Mr. Trump prefers.
Nixon’s back door negotiations were successful in thawing hostilities between Washington and Moscow, improvements in bilateral relations and formal agreements on arms control.
While a potential distraction for EU expansion, Brexit won’t affect Bulgaria’s trade much because bilateral volumes are low, according to Goranov.
More broadly, the president seems to think of trade in terms of bilateral relationships between pairs of countries that bargain with each other in order to strike a deal.
At their bilateral meeting, Macron, 39, and Trudeau, 45, went on a terrace overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, were they posed for photographers, surrounded by flowers.
Under the leadership of President Bush and Prime Minister Vajpayee, much has been accomplished to strengthen and build stronger bilateral relations between our two great countries over the past few years.
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.
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.
First Known Use of bilateral
BILATERAL Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of bilateral for English Language Learners
: involving two groups or countries
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
bilaterality\(ˈ)bī-ˌlat-ə-ˈral-ət-ē, -ˌla-ˈtral-\play noun plural
bilaterally\(ˈ)bī-ˈlat-ə-rə-lē, -ˈla-trə-lē\play adverb
Legal Definition of bilateral
: affecting, obligating, or shared by both parties
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up bilateral? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).