1 of 2


epi·​du·​ral ˌe-pi-ˈd(y)u̇r-əl How to pronounce epidural (audio)
: situated upon or administered or placed outside the dura mater
epidural anesthesia
an epidural abscess


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: an injection of a local anesthetic into the space outside the dura mater of the spinal cord in the lower back region to produce loss of sensation especially in the abdomen or pelvic region

Examples of epidural in a Sentence

Noun Many women undergoing childbirth are given epidurals.
Recent Examples on the Web
All of the patients had undergone cosmetic procedures — such as breast implants, butt lifts or liposuction — that required epidural anesthesia. Barbara Mantel, NBC News, 8 Feb. 2024 The outbreak is linked to cosmetic surgeries involving epidural anesthesia at two clinics in Matamoros, Mexico, just across the border from Brownsville, Texas. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, 30 June 2023 There wouldn’t be an anesthesiologist on hand to numb the pain with an epidural, much less an expert in maternal-fetal medicine. Stephania Taladrid, The New Yorker, 8 Jan. 2024 The same research found that acupressure did not reduce the amount of epidural use or shorten labor. Kristi Pahr, Parents, 3 Oct. 2023 Epidurals are often used in labor and delivery and other surgeries and involve injecting anesthetic directly into the spine—specifically into a space around spinal nerves called the epidural space. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 19 May 2023 Martinez received an epidural shot to address discomfort in his groin/hamstring area and will be unavailable until at least Saturday. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, 10 Aug. 2023 That said, some conditions make epidural anesthesia risky or not possible during your delivery. Kristi Pahr, Parents, 8 Sep. 2023 Read on for some epidural alternatives, including preparation, medication alternatives, and non-medical coping techniques. Kristi Pahr, Parents, 3 Oct. 2023
That outbreak mostly affected women having epidurals during cesarean section births in private hospitals. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 16 June 2023 Studies find that Black women who plan to deliver without an epidural are more likely to be pressured into using one. Sarah Kliff, New York Times, 6 May 2023 Avoids the potential side effects associated with epidurals. Marisa Cohen, Parents, 12 Aug. 2023 Previously, an anesthesiologist at Woodhull was investigated for botching epidurals. Joseph Goldstein, New York Times, 4 Jan. 2024 There was no time for an I.V., no time for an epidural. Emily Weaver, Peoplemag, 28 Oct. 2023 Both can be used in labor as an alternative to epidurals. Kristi Pahr, Parents, 3 Oct. 2023 On Thursday's episode of The Kardashians, Disick, 40, and Kris Jenner, 67, rode together to a hospital so the father of three could get an epidural. Hannah Sacks, Peoplemag, 27 Oct. 2023 In that outbreak, Mexican health officials also found Fusarium solani contaminating anesthetic used for epidurals in four private hospitals. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 25 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'epidural.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1882, in the meaning defined above


1970, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of epidural was in 1882

Dictionary Entries Near epidural

Cite this Entry

“Epidural.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/epidural. Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

Medical Definition


1 of 2 adjective
epi·​du·​ral ˌep-i-ˈd(y)u̇r-əl How to pronounce epidural (audio)
: situated upon or administered or placed outside the dura mater
epidural injections
an epidural abscess
epidurally adverb


2 of 2 noun
: an injection of an anesthetic to produce epidural anesthesia
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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