1

lateral

adjective lat·er·al \ ˈla-tə-rəl also ˈla-trəl \
Updated on: 3 Dec 2017

Definition of lateral

1 : of or relating to the side
  • a lateral view
2 : situated on, directed toward, or coming from the side
  • the lateral branches of a tree
3 : extending from side to side
  • the lateral axis of an airplane
4 phonetics : produced with passage of breath around the side of a constriction formed with the tongue
  • \l\ is lateral

laterally

adverb

Examples of lateral in a Sentence

  1. the lateral force of an earthquake

  2. from the lateral view you can see how thick the wall really is

Recent Examples of lateral from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lateral.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

Lateral shows up in all kinds of contexts. A lateral job change is one that keeps you at about the same job level and salary. A coach might have special drills to improve his players' lateral speed and agility. The British speak of "lateral thinking", thinking that grabs ideas that may not seem to be relevant but turn out to work well—what we might call "thinking outside the box". But we know lateral best from football. A lateral pass is a pass of the ball between teammates that usually goes to the side and slightly backward from the direction in which they're advancing; unlike a forward pass, a lateral may be made from any position, and any number may be made in a single play.

Origin and Etymology of lateral

Middle English laterale, from Latin lateralis, from later-, latus side

lateral Synonyms

Synonyms
side
Related Words
left, right; one-sided

2

lateral

noun

Definition of lateral

1 : a branch from the main part (as in an irrigation or electrical system)
2 : a pass in football thrown parallel to the line of scrimmage or in a direction away from the opponent's goal
3 : a lateral speech sound

Recent Examples of lateral from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lateral.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of lateral

Other Field and Goal Sports Terms


3

lateral

verb

Definition of lateral

intransitive verb
: to throw a lateral

Recent Examples of lateral from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lateral.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of lateral



LATERAL Defined for English Language Learners

lateral

adjective

Definition of lateral for English Language Learners

  • : toward, on, or coming from the side


lateral

noun

Definition of lateral for English Language Learners

  • American football : a pass thrown to the side or backward


LATERAL Defined for Kids

lateral

adjective lat·er·al \ ˈla-tə-rəl \

Definition of lateral for Students

: being on or directed toward the side
  • lateral movement

laterally

adverb

Medical Dictionary

lateral

adjective lat·er·al \ ˈlat-ə-rəl, ˈla-trəl \

medical Definition of lateral

: of or relating to the side; especiallyof a body part : lying at or extending toward the right or left side : lying away from the median axis of the body
  • the lungs are lateral to the heart
  • the lateral branch of the axillary artery


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