URL of this page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002244.htm


Lateral means to the side of, or away from, the middle of the body.


  • The ears are lateral to the nose.
  • The arms are lateral to the chest.


Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Lateral. www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lateral. Accessed January 24, 2017.

Review Date 12/10/2016

Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.