ven·​tral | \ ˈven-trəl How to pronounce ventral (audio) \

Definition of ventral

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : of or relating to the belly : abdominal
b : being or located near or on the anterior or lower surface of an animal opposite the back
2 : being or located on the lower surface of a dorsiventral plant structure



Definition of ventral (Entry 2 of 2)

: a ventral part (such as a scale or fin)

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Other Words from ventral


ventrally \ ˈven-​trə-​lē How to pronounce ventral (audio) \ adverb

Examples of ventral in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Further, prediction errors, which are what seemed to determine patients' abnormal actions, are primarily processed in the ventral striatum. Simon Makin, Scientific American, "An Inner Look into the Minds and Brains of People with OCD," 4 Oct. 2017 In both situations, the neurons in the midbrain's substantia nigra and ventral tegmental area flared up in response to the images. Rasha Aridi, Smithsonian Magazine, "Why Hunger and Loneliness Activate the Same Part of the Brain," 24 Nov. 2020 The researchers used a version of AlexNet to model the ventral visual stream of macaques and figured out the correspondences between the artificial neuron units and neural sites in the monkeys’ V4 area. Quanta Magazine, "Deep Neural Networks Help to Explain Living Brains," 28 Oct. 2020 That first spark of attraction ignites a region buried deep inside the brain called the ventral tegmental area, or VTA. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "Are you in love or just high on chemicals in your brain? Answer: Yes," 14 Feb. 2020 These stem cell structures included two types: cortical spheroids, which mimicked the rear, or dorsal, forebrain, and subpallial spheroids, which represented the front, or ventral, forebrain. Simon Makin, Scientific American, "“Organoids” Reveal How Human Forebrain Develops," 24 Jan. 2020 The ventral area of real brains contains inhibitory, or brakelike, neurons that are not initially present in the dorsal region but that migrate there later. Simon Makin, Scientific American, "“Organoids” Reveal How Human Forebrain Develops," 24 Jan. 2020 The images are input into a computer model that measures the length, width, and height (from its dorsal fin to ventral fins) of a whale and accurately calculate its mass. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "Weighing a Whale Is Hard. Drones Make the Job Easier.," 2 Oct. 2019 These allowed him to measure the electrical voltage gradient between the cervix and the ventral abdominal wall. Sally Adee, Quartz, "Our bodies are full of electricity that could help us fight cancer," 30 May 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This mental effort pays off: As the hippocampus activates, so too does the ventral striatum, another of the brain’s dopaminergic reward centers. Popular Science, "We once thought nostalgia was a disease, but it might be key to our survival," 8 Apr. 2020 Earlier studies had shown that specific nerve pathways leading to a structure known as the ventral tegmental area (VTA) were important for the aversive nature of the foot shock. Robert Martone, Scientific American, "A Successful Artificial Memory Has Been Created," 27 Aug. 2019 Return as of 5/13/17 is 68 hatchery adult, 2 natural origin, 12 Cowlitz origin (ventral clipped), and 0 Lewis origin. Mark Yuasa, The Seattle Times, "Plenty of choices to catch fish in Columbia River region," 17 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ventral.' 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 ventral


1739, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1834, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ventral


borrowed from Late Latin ventrālis, from Latin ventr-, venter "belly, abdomen" + -ālis -al entry 1 — more at venter

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Time Traveler for ventral

Time Traveler

The first known use of ventral was in 1739

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Statistics for ventral

Last Updated

27 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ventral.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for ventral


ven·​tral | \ ˈven-trəl How to pronounce ventral (audio) \

Kids Definition of ventral

: of, relating to, or being on or near the surface of the body that in human beings is the front but in most animals is the lower surface a fish's ventral fins


ven·​tral | \ ˈven-trəl How to pronounce ventral (audio) \

Medical Definition of ventral

1 : of or relating to the belly : abdominal
2a : being or located near, on, or toward the lower surface of an animal (as a quadruped) opposite the back or dorsal surface
b : being or located near, on, or toward the front or anterior part of the human body

More from Merriam-Webster on ventral

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ventral

Britannica English: Translation of ventral for Arabic Speakers

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