lat·​er·​al·​i·​za·​tion | \ ˌla-tə-rə-lə-ˈzā-shən How to pronounce lateralization (audio) , ˌla-trə- \

Definition of lateralization

: localization of function or activity on one side of the body in preference to the other

Other Words from lateralization

lateralize \ ˈla-​tə-​rə-​ˌlīz How to pronounce lateralization (audio) , ˈla-​trə-​ \ transitive verb

Examples of lateralization in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Other primates exhibit varying degrees of lateralization, but only humans show such a high frequency of right-handedness. David W. Frayer, Scientific American, 1 Feb. 2022 This brain lateralization, as it is termed, is associated with language capacity. David W. Frayer, Scientific American, 1 Feb. 2022 The type of lateralization most familiar to people is undoubtedly handedness. Kelly Jaakkola, Scientific American, 21 Feb. 2021 What the researchers observed was a significant change in the test sharks' lateralization, which is a brain function observed across many species that essentially relegates certain processes to one side of the brain or the other. Eleanor Hildebrandt, Popular Mechanics, 3 Dec. 2018 Most researchers believe that lateralization explains how handedness arises, including our consistent 9-1 right-handedness ratio. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, 18 May 2018

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

First Known Use of lateralization

1820, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for lateralization

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The first known use of lateralization was in 1820

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Dictionary Entries Near lateralization

lateral fin


lateral line

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Statistics for lateralization

Last Updated

27 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Lateralization.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for lateralization


variants: also British lateralisation \ ˌlat-​ə-​rə-​lə-​ˈzā-​shən, ˌla-​trə-​lə-​ How to pronounce lateralization (audio) \

Medical Definition of lateralization

: localization of function or activity (as of verbal processes in the brain) on one side of the body in preference to the other

Other Words from lateralization

lateralize also British lateralise \ ˈlat-​ə-​rə-​ˌlīz, ˈla-​trə-​ˌlīz How to pronounce lateralization (audio) \ transitive verb lateralized also British lateralised; lateralizing also British lateralising


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