prox·​i·​mal | \ ˈpräk-sə-məl How to pronounce proximal (audio) \

Definition of proximal

1 : situated close to : proximate
2 : next to or nearest the point of attachment or origin, a central point, or the point of view especially : located toward the center of the body — compare distal
3 : of, relating to, or being the mesial and distal surfaces of a tooth

Other Words from proximal

proximally \ ˈpräk-​sə-​mə-​lē How to pronounce proximal (audio) \ adverb

Examples of proximal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Muscles stretched: pectineus, adductor brevis, proximal adductors. Gerard Hartmann, Outside Online, 21 July 2021 The Covid-19 pandemic provides another, more proximal example. Emma Biegacki, STAT, 20 Mar. 2022 China’s early reporting of COVID cases was disingenuous, causing a delay of weeks before the world was alerted, and the country later blocked an independent investigation of SARS-CoV-2’s proximal origins. Lawrence O. Gostin, Scientific American, 1 Mar. 2022 Furious downslope winds were also the proximal culprit in that disaster, but the unusually dry vegetation conditions facilitated the fire’s rapid spread in the first place. Daniel Swain, Outside Online, 11 Jan. 2022 My severely disfigured proximal thumb and index finger have responded, with reduced pain and swelling. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 21 Dec. 2021 After six months in space, the proximal femoral bone in the leg can ditch around 10 percent of its mass, requiring years of recovery back on the ground. Sarah Scoles, Wired, 9 Nov. 2021 Even so, a container ship to a whale may sound like a speaker-proximal seat at a rock concert—and though the fan has chosen to be that close to the clamor, the whale has not. Marguerite Holloway, The New Yorker, 31 Aug. 2021 Some of these places are proximal to towns and cities, and some are not. Deboki Chakravarti, Scientific American, 27 Aug. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of proximal

1727, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for proximal

Latin proximus

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Time Traveler for proximal

Time Traveler

The first known use of proximal was in 1727

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Dictionary Entries Near proximal



proximal convoluted tubule

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Statistics for proximal

Last Updated

2 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Proximal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for proximal


prox·​i·​mal | \ ˈpräk-sə-məl How to pronounce proximal (audio) \

Medical Definition of proximal

1a : situated next to or near the point of attachment or origin or a central point the proximal was … better than the peripheral stump for a graftAnnual Review of Medicine especially : located toward the center of the body the proximal end of a bone — compare distal sense 1a
b : of, relating to, or being the mesial and distal surfaces of a tooth
2 : sensory rather than physical or social proximal stimuli — compare distal sense 2

Other Words from proximal

proximally \ -​ē How to pronounce proximal (audio) \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on proximal

Britannica English: Translation of proximal for Arabic Speakers


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