pa·​ri·​e·​tal | \ pə-ˈrī-ə-tᵊl How to pronounce parietal (audio) \

Definition of parietal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : of or relating to the walls of a part or cavity
b : of, relating to, or located near or within the parietal bone or parietal lobe of the head
2 : attached to the main wall rather than the axis or a cross wall of a plant ovary used of an ovule or a placenta
3 dated : of or relating to college living or its regulation especially : of or relating to parietals (see parietal entry 2 sense 2) All of this takes place in a residential environment no longer constrained by the parietal hours that the older set of today's parents will recall. One of the signature changes in the student revolt of the late sixties/early seventies was the end not only of curfew hours for residence halls but also of housing separated by sex. — Barrett Seaman



Definition of parietal (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a parietal part (such as a bone, scale, or plate)
2 parietals plural, dated : the regulations governing the visiting privileges of members of the opposite sex in campus dormitories

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Fifteenth-century scientists first used "parietal" (from Latin paries, meaning "wall of a cavity or hollow organ") to describe a pair of bones of the roof of the skull between the frontal and posterior bone. Later, "parietal" was also applied to structures connected to or found in the same general area as these bones; the parietal lobe, for example, is the middle division of each hemisphere of the brain. In the 19th century, botanists adopted "parietal" as a word for ovules and placentas attached to the walls of plant ovaries. It was also in the 19th century that "parietal" began to be heard on college campuses, outside of the classroom; in 1837, Harvard College established the Parietal Committee to be in charge of "all offences against good order and decorum within the walls."

Examples of parietal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The current operating theory, though, is that these stitches are caused by irritation of the parietal peritoneum. Kelly O'mara, Outside Online, 8 May 2020 However, not all archaeologists would agree that the newfound prints meet the definition of parietal art, an expert told Live Science. Nicoletta Lanese, Scientific American, 21 Sep. 2021 The girl, Ariel Young, suffered a severe traumatic brain injury, a parietal fracture, brain contusions, and subdural hematomas in the crash, according to medical records. Amir Vera And Keith Allen, CNN, 7 June 2021 Thus there were chaperones, parietal rules and other awkward devices for denying them the privacy to do it. Washington Post, 18 May 2021 Those three cortical regions are the frontal, temporal, and parietal lobes, which are associated with thinking, auditory processing, and sensory information, respectively. Max G. Levy, Wired, 11 May 2021 The second was the anterior insula, which is folded into the deep fissure between the parietal and frontal lobes. Sara Harrison, Wired, 22 Oct. 2020 The right superior parietal lobule, an area used to construct one's total body image, also had reduced connectivity and a reduced density of gray matter, indicating less neuron activity. Ryan Prior, CNN, 7 May 2020 As the images flipped rapidly past, the researchers looked for activity in a region of the canine brain called the parietotemporal cortex, analogous to humans’ parietal cortex, which is known to help people rapidly process numbers. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, 20 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Not all of the study's archeologists would agree that the findings fully qualify as parietal, which is often used to describe paintings on cave walls and meaning something cannot move from place to place. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, 21 Sep. 2021 That privilege belongs to more posterior regions—the parietal, temporal and occipital lobes. Christof Koch, Scientific American, 10 May 2021 Synchronous brain activity was localized in the left hemisphere of the brain, to an area known as the temporal-parietal junction. Robert Martone, Scientific American, 2 June 2020 At 80 milliseconds, that activity suppression spread throughout the posterior parietal cortex. Richard Sima, Scientific American, 23 Dec. 2019 Glimcher and collaborators have shown that neurons in part of the brain called the parietal cortex do indeed behave this way, adding physiological support for the model. Quanta Magazine, 23 Aug. 2016 This video shows a monitor lizard skull fossil fragment with both the parietal and pineal foramina visible (highlighted in yellow). Amina Khan,, 3 Apr. 2018 These have two conventional eyes and two parietals, one derived from the parapineal and the other from the pineal. The Economist, 5 Apr. 2018 Another view of the monitor lizard skull fossil fragment, on which both the parietal and pineal foramina are visible (in yellow). Amina Khan,, 3 Apr. 2018 See More

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

First Known Use of parietal


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for parietal


Middle English, from Medieval Latin parietalis, from pariet-, paries wall of a cavity or hollow organ, from Latin, wall

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The first known use of parietal was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near parietal

Parida, La


parietal angle

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Cite this Entry

“Parietal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for parietal


pa·​ri·​etal | \ pə-ˈrī-ət-ᵊl How to pronounce parietal (audio) \

Medical Definition of parietal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of or relating to the walls of a part or cavity — compare visceral
2 : of, relating to, or located in the upper posterior part of the head specifically : relating to the parietal bones



Medical Definition of parietal (Entry 2 of 2)

: a parietal part (as a bone)

More from Merriam-Webster on parietal

Britannica English: Translation of parietal for Arabic Speakers


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