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 ventrally (audio) \ adverb

Examples of ventral in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective 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 Some have noted a sort of pastiche effect in the G70’s styling—a little of the Infiniti Q50 here, a lot of the Alfa Romeo Giulia there, a ventral chrome accent nearly plagiarized from the BMW. Dan Neil, WSJ, "Genesis G70: A Hyundai Spinoff You Can Proudly Drive," 12 Dec. 2018 Its gray-blue flanks were ticked with cream flecks and its ventral fins were tinged with orange. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: There's no point in rushing when there's a big laker on the line," 28 Apr. 2018 Our study evaluated 333 hospital inpatients discharged home after six different types of general surgery operations: bariatric procedures; operations on the stomach, liver, pancreas, and colon; and ventral hernia repair. Richard J. Barth, STAT, "Trump wants to reduce opioid prescriptions by one-third. We can start now," 30 Mar. 2018 The other pathway makes use of networks located in the parietal and ventral regions that, among other things, are involved in autobiographical memory and the discovery of relevant visual stimuli. Nicola Ballhausen, Scientific American, "Foresee and Forget: How to Remember the Future," 7 Mar. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ventral.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ventral

Britannica English: Translation of ventral for Arabic Speakers

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