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From Latin laterālis (belonging to the side), from latus (a side)



lateral (comparative more lateral, superlative most lateral)

  1. To the side; of or pertaining to the side.
    Instead of a promotion, I opted for a lateral move to a similar position in the marketing department.
  2. (anatomy) Pertaining to the left or right of the body; further from the midline.
    The medial side of the knee faces the other knee, while the outer side of the knee is lateral.
    A fish senses changes in hydrodynamic pressure with its lateral line.
  3. (linguistics) Pertaining to sounds generated by partially blocking the egress of the airstream with the tip of the tongue touching the alveolar ridge, leaving space on one or both sides of the occlusion for air passage.



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lateral (plural laterals)

  1. an object, such as a passage or a protrusion, that is situated on the side of something else
  2. (linguistics) a sound produced through lateral pronunciation (such as /l/ in lateral)
  3. (American football) a lateral pass
  4. (business) An employee hired for a position at the same organizational level or salary as their previous position.

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lateral (third-person singular simple present laterals, present participle lateralling or lateraling, simple past and past participle lateralled or lateraled)

  1. To move (oneself or something) in a lateral direction
  2. (American football) To execute a lateral pass

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lateral m, f (plural laterales)

  1. lateral, to the side