Definition of anal in US English:



  • 1Involving, relating to, or situated near the anus.

    • ‘The external anal sphincter is composed of skeletal muscle.’
    • ‘If you have experienced bleeding from the anus, your GP will examine the anal canal and lower rectum using a small tube.’
    • ‘It is girdled by the external anal sphincter, a striated muscle structure that is part of the pelvic floor musculature.’
    • ‘The diagnosis is made by examining the anus and anal canal, and it is important to exclude more serious causes of bleeding, such as colorectal cancer.’
    • ‘At such a time, continence is maintained by the voluntary contraction of the striated muscle of the external anal sphincter.’
    • ‘Hair is found on all parts of the skin except the palm and sole, and the oral, anal, and urogenital orifices.’
    • ‘Continence depends on functioning muscles and nerves in and around the rectum and anal canal.’
    • ‘Some cases of piles respond to stretching the anus, under anaesthetic, which is thought to relieve the spasm of the anal sphincter and so reduce pressure in the anus.’
    • ‘The bimanual examination should also include a rectal examination to check anal sphincter tone and, for fecal impaction, the presence of occult blood or rectal lesions.’
    • ‘No cutaneous, ocular, anal, rectal, nasal, or oral mucosal lesions were demonstrated on thorough physical examination.’
    • ‘They work by relaxing the muscle of the internal anal sphincter.’
    • ‘Rectal examination is essential if the medical history suggests a disorder in the lower abdomen, pelvis, lower rectal or anal region.’
    • ‘Other infected sites may include the pharynx, anal canal and urethra.’
    • ‘The cushions are suspended in the canal by a connective tissue framework derived from the internal anal sphincter and longitudinal muscle.’
    • ‘Sitting or squatting straightens the angle between the rectum and the short anal canal.’
    1. 1.1Psychoanalysis (in Freudian psychoanalysis) relating to or denoting a stage of infantile psychosexual development supposedly preoccupied with the anus and defecation.
      • ‘Or we can think of the anal stage of development as an attempt to control biological urges with the new surging power of symbolic meaning and mastery.’
      • ‘The goal of the present project is to empirically establish behavioral correlates of what is referred to in the analytic literature as the ‘anal stage’ of libidinal or psychosexual development.’
      • ‘The anal stage (which Freud says has a lot to do with toilet training) is associated with expelling things, with learning boundaries between inside and outside, and with aggression and anger.’
      • ‘On the psychic level, as I have tried to demonstrate by analyzing the central joke as if it were a highly condensed, overdetermined dream image, it involves a regression to the anal stage.’
      • ‘It could be demonstrated that creative thinking in science is closely connected with a specific reparation mechanism common in the anal stage of development.’
    2. 1.2informal Anal-retentive.
      ‘he's anal about things like that’
      • ‘I am simply not anal or autistic enough to beat the people who really love this game.’
      • ‘The anal paranoia that struck many parents and school administrators has diminished, and schools remain lax about security.’
      • ‘I am neither strong nor anal about the ‘group system’ which, incidentally, and frankly, I think is quite a mess.’
      • ‘I'm so anal, I am not satisfied that one person said ‘That's not what anal means’ I have to take the next step and explain it.’
      • ‘Freud himself, as one might expect from the character sketch given in the first chapter of this book, concentrated upon anal traits.’
      • ‘I'm so anal about timekeeping that I almost experience physical pleasure when I get it spot on, which is 99% of the time.’
      • ‘His semi-aristocratic origins and gnomic utterances, his appearance and personality (staring eyes, middle-European name, cyclic and anal personality, withdrawal into northern isolation), are striking.’
      • ‘A friend of mine has a theory that everyone is either an anal, obsessive Bert or a laid-back Ernie.’
      • ‘Why am I so anal about writing HTML and not using tabs or spaces in my code?’
      • ‘There can only be one anal person in the group, and the word ‘anal’ doesn't exist in AJ's vocabulary.’
      • ‘As with other aspects of my life, I'm capable of being rather anal about pleasure: I will go here, I will do such-and such, with so-and-so, and I will enjoy myself.’
      • ‘Being anal about it is a disturbing and somewhat disgusting image.’
      • ‘I'm a mixture of untidy and anal.’
      • ‘We all know about wishful thinking, about denial and defence mechanisms, repression, narcissism, Freudian slips and the anal personality.’
      • ‘Because these egotists possess a certain anal personality, they summarily reject people who are often valuable assets to any company.’
      • ‘Companies are anal about their files, but they should be anal about search.’
      • ‘Plus, I didn't know you had to be anal to conjugate a verb.’
      • ‘Have other people described you as being anal?’
      • ‘He's being anal about ‘Chinese Democracy’.’
      • ‘I know he is anal about his research from past years, so it would be a good place to start.’


Mid 18th century: from modern Latin analis, from Latin anus (see anus).