Definition of medial in English:



  • 1Situated in the middle, in particular:

    • ‘A medial moraine is a strip of morainal debris in the middle of glacier ice which marks where two glaciers come together.’
    • ‘Not until after midnight, in an eerie twilight, do we sideslip around a medial moraine and discover two gigantic black holes in the silver glacier.’
    1. 1.1Anatomy Zoology Situated near the median plane of the body or the midline of an organ:
      ‘a medial ligament’
      The opposite of lateral
      • ‘The deep branch innervates the quadriceps muscle, knee joint, and medial ligament.’
      • ‘Osseous stability is reinforced by the medial and lateral ligament complexes.’
      • ‘A negative number meant that the lateral malleolus was actually anterior to the plane of the medial malleolus.’
      • ‘These fibers are named the medial and lateral patellar ligaments.’
      • ‘With immobilization, the tight medial and posterior tarsal ligaments tend to yield.’
      halfway, in-between, middle, mid, midway, median, intermediary, intervening, interposed, transitional
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    2. 1.2Phonetics (of a speech sound) in the middle of a word:
      ‘a medial consonant’
      • ‘There is no b in dummy, derived from dumb, or crummy, derived from crumb, and although b is not pronounced finally in bomb, medial b is pronounced in bombard.’
      • ‘An obvious device for poets and lyricists who are concerned with sound is alliteration, the repetition of initial or medial sounds in two or more adjacent words.’
      • ‘Epenthesis also occurs after medial m in some words: for example, Latin camera and numerus became French chambre and nombre, English chamber and number.’
      • ‘Children were asked to remove phonemes from the beginning or medial portions of one-, two-, and three-syllable words.’
      • ‘A total of 15 items were included on this task requiring students to delete initial, medial, and final phonemes from words.’
    3. 1.3Phonetics (of a vowel) pronounced in the middle of the mouth; central.
      middle, centre, halfway, midway, mid, median, medial, mean, middling, intermediate, intermedial
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Late 16th century (in the sense ‘relating to the mean or average’): from late Latin medialis, from Latin medius middle.