rec·​tal | \ ˈrek-tᵊl How to pronounce rectal (audio) \

Definition of rectal

: relating to, affecting, or being near the rectum rectal walls rectal cancer

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Other Words from rectal

rectally adverb

Examples of rectal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Yogurt consumption has been linked to a lower risk of colon and rectal cancer in previous studies, and some scientists think this may be because yogurt promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. Reuters, The Mercury News, "Men: Want lower risk of colorectal cancer? Eat yogurt," 3 July 2019 Anal cancers are sometimes found through rectal exams -- part of a routine pelvic exam by a gynecologist, in Cross' case. Michael Nedelman, CNN, "Actress shines light on HPV's link to anal cancers," 6 June 2019 The drugs could also play a role in treating some colon and rectal cancer patients, if studies pan out. Kimberly Chin, WSJ, "Pfizer to Buy Cancer Drug Maker Array BioPharma for $10.64 Billion," 17 June 2019 Azimuddin, who is a colon and rectal surgeon at the hospital, was joined by colleagues and community members in the hospital’s north pavilion on June 11 to celebrate the opening of a new prayer room built in the Muslim tradition. Chevall Pryce, Houston Chronicle, "Houston Willowbrook Methodist Hospital opens prayer room built in Muslim tradition," 14 June 2019 Gonçalves, wearing medical gloves, took a swab of saliva from the animal’s mouth and a rectal swab from the rear, sealing them both into vials. David Quammen, National Geographic, "How one of Africa’s great parks is rebounding from war," 12 June 2019 Unlike rectal cancer, which forms in the rectum or colon, anal cancer forms on the anal canal, near the sphincter muscles. Christina Oehler,, "Marcia Cross Reveals New Details of Her Anal Cancer Diagnosis," 5 June 2019 Your pain is severe and comes with a fever, rectal bleeding, nausea, and/or vomiting. Cassie Shortsleeve, SELF, "How to Know If Your Abdominal Pain Is Physical or Mental," 16 Feb. 2019 In a spring 2005 section of a year-long introductory course on physical examinations taught by Dr. Strampel, for example, a male model hired for students to practice prostate and rectal exams didn’t show up. Melissa Korn, WSJ, "Larry Nassar’s Boss at Michigan State Said in 2016 That He Didn’t Believe Sex Abuse Claims," 19 Mar. 2018

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

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First Known Use of rectal

1826, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for rectal

Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rectal

The first known use of rectal was in 1826

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English Language Learners Definition of rectal

medical : relating to, affecting, or located near the rectum


rec·​tal | \ ˈrek-tᵊl How to pronounce rectal (audio) \

Medical Definition of rectal

: relating to, affecting, or being near the rectum rectal bleeding

Other Words from rectal

rectally \ -​ē How to pronounce rectally (audio) \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on rectal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rectal

Spanish Central: Translation of rectal

Nglish: Translation of rectal for Spanish Speakers

Comments on rectal

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


something desired as essential

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