Definition of lateral in English:

lateral

Syllabification: lat·er·al
Pronunciation: /ˈlatərəl, ˈlatrəl
 
/

adjective

1Of, at, toward, or from the side or sides: the plant takes up water through its lateral roots
More example sentences
  • In many species, lateral roots proliferate in, and/or grow towards, zones of higher nutrient availability.
  • She pressed the final button and everyone felt a lateral pull towards the back of the craft.
  • For propagation, cut off the lateral rosettes with roots during March to April or September to October and plant in ordinary soil.
Synonyms
sideways, sidewise, sideward, edgewise, edgeways, oblique, horizontal
1.1 Anatomy & Zoology Situated on one side or other of the body or of an organ, especially in the region furthest from the median plane. The opposite of medial.
More example sentences
  • Puncture wounds were made on the ventral side, slightly lateral to the midline.
  • Lateral to the midbrain are the medial and lateral geniculate bodies.
  • The fabella is a sesamoid bone of the lateral gastrocnemius muscle.
1.2 Medicine (Of a disease or condition) affecting the side or sides of the body, or confined to one side of the body.
More example sentences
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a progressive disease affecting both upper and lower motor neurons.
  • Brachioradial pruritus is an uncommon condition that presents as lateral arm pruritus and has been associated with spinal disease.
  • The results of unicompartmental knee replacement in lateral compartment disease have yet to be fully determined.
1.3 Physics Acting or placed at right angles to the line of motion or of strain.
More example sentences
  • Rotation reduces linear friction, and lateral motion reduces rotational friction, so that a kind of negative feedback arises.
  • Possible effects of monomer tilt or lateral motion on the elastic energy are neglected.
  • If the laser head is rotated 90 degrees to the tape motion, there is potential that it can pick up the lateral motion of the tape surface.
1.4 Phonetics (Of a consonant, especially l, or its articulation) formed by or involving partial closure of the air passage by the tongue, which is so placed as to allow the breath to flow on one or both sides of the point of contact.
More example sentences
  • The /l/ at the end of ‘bell’ is still phonetically a lateral consonant for me, pronounced with the blade of my tongue in contact with the roof of my mouth.
  • Many aboriginal Australian languages have a series of three or four lateral approximants, as do various dialects of Irish.
  • In this chapter the occurrence of laterals of this common type and of various other kinds of lateral consonants that are less frequently found will be discussed.

noun

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1A side part of something, especially a shoot or branch growing out from the side of a stem.
More example sentences
  • If the leader is growing vigorously and no laterals are forming at a height you would like, pinch out an inch of the tip growth when it is at the height you would like a permanent branch.
  • Vines on weaker rootstocks had fewer long shoots, so higher proportions of older shoots with short one-year-old laterals were therefore retained as the fruiting crown.
  • Choristospore dasyclads develop cysts within inflated structures termed gametophores borne along the tips or sides of laterals.
2 Phonetics A lateral consonant.
More example sentences
  • Obstruent laterals, which are mainly found in indigenous languages of North America, are sometimes thought of as liquids but do not have their high sonority.
  • This contrasts with its original meaning, which applied only to the lateral and rhotic that may occur as the second member of a cluster.
  • These vowels have little if any constriction in the vocal tract and so the lateral before these vowels takes on the ‘default’ alveolar articulation.
3 Football (also lateral pass) A pass thrown either sideways or backward from the position of the passer.
More example sentences
  • After taking a lateral from White, Butler scored and jumped head-first into the front row of the endzone seats.
  • Winning and losing separated by mere inches - however many you think made that pass a forward one or a lateral.

verb

[with object] Back to top  
1Throw (a football) in a sideways or backward direction: he tried to lateral a kick return but fumbled
More example sentences
  • In fact, if you watch the replay, had Ecker lateralled the ball one more time, Breaston would have scored.
  • The quarterback completed a short out pattern to Bailey who lateralled the ball to Moya.
  • Leaf hit Jefferson who lateralled the ball to Clayton for a 36-yard gain.
1.1 [no object] Throw a lateral: he got the ball back on a handoff and then lateraled to a halfback
More example sentences
  • He returned it 18 yards to the 20 and then lateralled to his teammate who took it to the seven.
  • Before Welch was downed on the Bruins’ 36, he lateralled back to Lerond, who ran the ball into the end zone.
  • For the second day in a row, however, a defensive back lateralled to another defensive back after a pickoff and it went awry.

Origin

late Middle English: from Latin lateralis, from latus, later- 'side'.

Derivatives

laterally

adverb
More example sentences
  • That shows initiative and a well honed ability to think laterally.
  • The malaise spread itself along the three-quarters, who ran laterally and without conviction.
  • Children explore techniques and think laterally as they use a vast array of recycled and unusual materials.

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