Definition of epidural in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˌepəˈd(y)o͝orəl/


Anatomy & Medicine
On or around the dura mater, in particular (of an anesthetic) introduced into the space around the dura mater of the spinal cord.
Example sentences
  • They can also be given in the epidural space in the spinal column where nerves exit.
  • They can also be given through an epidural catheter (a thin tube).
  • The neurologist who examined her found and drained an epidural abscess from the lumbar region.


An epidural anesthetic, used especially in childbirth to produce loss of sensation below the waist.
Example sentences
  • Anaesthetists routinely provide epidurals for both vaginal and caesarean deliveries.
  • Most hospitals use IV medicines or epidurals for pain relief.
  • Little attention has been paid to other obstetric interventions such as epidurals, episiotomies, and instrumental births


Late 19th century: from epi- 'upon' + dura1 + -al.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ep·i·du·ral

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.