epi·​du·​ral | \ ˌe-pi-ˈd(y)u̇r-əl How to pronounce epidural (audio) \

Definition of epidural

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: situated upon or administered or placed outside the dura mater epidural anesthesia an epidural abscess



Definition of epidural (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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: Adjective Weggemann was just 18 when she was paralyzed from the abdomen down after receiving an epidural injection to treat back pain. Thomas Oide, Star Tribune, 14 June 2021 Richardson, who was married to Liam Neeson, died in 2009 after suffering an epidural hematoma, or bleeding on the brain, as a result of a skiing accident. Jolie Lash, EW.com, 11 May 2021 Ayah also gets alternative medicine via a lumbar puncture every few months, which her mother described as similar to the epidural women get when having a baby. Faith Karimi, CNN, 31 Mar. 2021 Despite her wishes for an epidural, Moore said her anesthesiologist forbade it, since her platelet level was dropping exponentially. Charles Trepany, USA TODAY, 13 Mar. 2021 Whether to have an epidural or natural birth, cloth or disposable diapers, breast or bottle, free-range or attachment parenting. TheWeek, 25 Oct. 2020 Before putting on her makeup, Joy-Anna decided to get an epidural shot after her contractions became increasingly painful. Claudia Harmata, PEOPLE.com, 8 Sep. 2020 There is some evidence that people with ITP may be at higher risk of developing epidural hematoma: internal bleeding in the brain or spine. Natasha Lavender, SELF, 30 Sep. 2020 Nicole’s services were a gift from an ob-gyn friend of mine who told me that continuous support from doulas during childbirth is associated with decreased caesarean section rates and less frequent use of epidural anesthesia. Naomi Jackson, Harper's Magazine, 18 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Saldaya declined requests to put on a hospital gown and pee in a cup, as well as offers for an epidural. Rebecca Grant, Marie Claire, 9 June 2021 Her medical team had just administered an epidural to numb her body for a cesarean section. Marina Starleaf Riker, ExpressNews.com, 14 Jan. 2021 A few more epidurals were administered throughout the year to get Shannon through his senior season. Tyler James, Indianapolis Star, 6 May 2020 Hospitals have pain management tools like epidurals, but moms may feel more comfortable laboring at home in familiar surroundings. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, 24 Apr. 2020 The midwives are trained to provide emergency medical interventions, though performing cesarean sections and giving epidurals are outside their skill set. Amber Bracken, New York Times, 5 Jan. 2020 Women who had general anesthesia were also 54% more likely to experience postpartum depression and 91% more likely to have thoughts about suicide or self-harm, compared to those who had regional anesthesia such as spinal blocks or epidurals. Harmeet Kaur, CNN, 8 Feb. 2020 Larger hospitals can subsidize them with interventions (ultrasounds, inductions, epidurals) and neonatal intensive-care units, which are lucrative. Emily Bobrow, The New Yorker, 22 Dec. 2019 This happens because epidurals affects the sympathetic nervous system, a series of nerves that spread out from your spine to your body that help control several involuntary body functions, including blood flow. Samantha Lauriello, Health.com, 12 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'epidural.' 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 epidural


1882, in the meaning defined above


1970, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for epidural

Time Traveler

The first known use of epidural was in 1882

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Statistics for epidural

Last Updated

23 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Epidural.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/epidural. Accessed 24 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for epidural



English Language Learners Definition of epidural

medical : an injection of a substance into a person's spine to cause the lower part of the body to become unable to feel pain


epi·​du·​ral | \ ˌep-i-ˈd(y)u̇r-əl How to pronounce epidural (audio) \

Medical Definition of epidural

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: situated upon or administered or placed outside the dura mater epidural injections an epidural abscess

Other Words from epidural

epidurally \ -​ə-​lē How to pronounce epidural (audio) \ adverb



Medical Definition of epidural (Entry 2 of 2)

: an injection of an anesthetic to produce epidural anesthesia


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