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

Keep scrolling for more

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 The type of lateralization most familiar to people is undoubtedly handedness. Kelly Jaakkola, Scientific American, "Are Dolphins Right-Handed or Left-Handed?," 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, "Climate Changes Is Rewiring Sharks' Brains," 3 Dec. 2018 Most researchers believe that lateralization explains how handedness arises, including our consistent 9-1 right-handedness ratio. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, "Was Science Wrong About Being Right?," 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.

See More

First Known Use of lateralization

1820, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about lateralization

Time Traveler for lateralization

Time Traveler

The first known use of lateralization was in 1820

See more words from the same year

Statistics for lateralization

Last Updated

26 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Lateralization.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on lateralization

What made you want to look up lateralization? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!