per·​i·​ne·​um ˌper-ə-ˈnē-əm How to pronounce perineum (audio)
plural perinea ˌper-ə-ˈnē-ə How to pronounce perineum (audio)
: an area between the thighs that marks the approximate lower boundary of the pelvis and is occupied by the urinary and genital ducts and rectum
also : the area between the anus and the posterior part of the external genitalia
perineal adjective

Examples of perineum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In contrast, a healthcare provider will numb the perineum to make a cut if needed.2 Here's what happens during an episiotomy:2 Incision: There are two types of cuts—a median or mediolateral incision. Korin Miller, Health, 15 Sep. 2023 Healthcare providers commonly use median incisions to make a straight cut in the perineum. Korin Miller, Health, 15 Sep. 2023 Lessens risk of tearing: What's more, Harper and Collins say water causes the perineum to become more relaxed, which can reduce the severity of vaginal tearing. Bekka Besich, Parents, 3 Sep. 2023 My perineum was normal. Madeleine Watts, Harper’s Magazine , 25 May 2022 Unfortunately, some people have already found out that perineum sunning can have immediate and uncomfortable effects. Marci Robin, Allure, 10 Aug. 2022 Biotin deficiency presents with multiple symptoms including brittle nails, thinning hair and a scaly red rash around the eyes, nose, mouth and perineum. Dr. Michael Daignault, USA TODAY, 17 Feb. 2022 One company, called Morari, showed off a prototype of a perineum patch that is supposed to help those who struggle with premature ejaculation. Lauren Goode, Wired, 8 Jan. 2020 Less common were other threats; physical abuse, including refusing anesthesia for an episiotomy (a cut to the perineum to aid with delivery); or sharing private information without women’s consent., 14 Sep. 2019 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'perineum.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, from Late Latin perinaion, from Greek, from peri- + inan to empty out; perhaps akin to Sanskrit iṣṇāti he sets in motion

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of perineum was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near perineum

Cite this Entry

“Perineum.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

Medical Definition


variants also perinaeum
plural perinea also perinaea -ˈnē-ə How to pronounce perineum (audio)
: an area of tissue that marks externally the approximate boundary of the pelvic outlet and gives passage to the urogenital ducts and rectum
also : the area between the anus and the posterior part of the external genitalia especially in the female

More from Merriam-Webster on perineum

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