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

Examples of ventral in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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 Three brain areas work together to stop body movement: the dorsal part of the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (red), the ventral part of the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (blue) and the bilateral frontal eye fields (green). Ben Tinker, CNN, "How to hit your brain's 'kill switch' -- before it's too late," 8 Dec. 2017 And that portion of their brains was also showing greater functional connectivity, communicating more readily with another part of the brain, the ventral striatum, known as the brain’s reward center. Gretchen Reynolds, New York Times, "Giving Proof," 14 Sep. 2017 The coins had collected in a heavy ball that cracked the turtle’s ventral shell, leading to an acute infection. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "The Sea Turtle That Ate 915 Coins Has Died," 21 Mar. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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

The first known use of ventral was in 1739

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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

Comments on ventral

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


to move or obtain by small maneuvers

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