Definition of anal in US English:



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

    • ‘The external anal sphincter is composed of skeletal muscle.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If you have experienced bleeding from the anus, your GP will examine the anal canal and lower rectum using a small tube.’
    • ‘Rectal examination is essential if the medical history suggests a disorder in the lower abdomen, pelvis, lower rectal or anal region.’
    • ‘They work by relaxing the muscle of the internal anal sphincter.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Continence depends on functioning muscles and nerves in and around the rectum and anal canal.’
    • ‘It is girdled by the external anal sphincter, a striated muscle structure that is part of the pelvic floor musculature.’
    • ‘Hair is found on all parts of the skin except the palm and sole, and the oral, anal, and urogenital orifices.’
    • ‘The cushions are suspended in the canal by a connective tissue framework derived from the internal anal sphincter and longitudinal muscle.’
    • ‘Other infected sites may include the pharynx, anal canal and urethra.’
    • ‘At such a time, continence is maintained by the voluntary contraction of the striated muscle of the external anal sphincter.’
    • ‘Sitting or squatting straightens the angle between the rectum and the short 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.’
    1. 1.1Psychoanalysis (in Freudian psychoanalysis) relating to or denoting a stage of infantile psychosexual development supposedly preoccupied with the anus and defecation.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It could be demonstrated that creative thinking in science is closely connected with a specific reparation mechanism common in the anal stage of development.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 1.2informal Anal-retentive.
      ‘he's anal about things like that’
      • ‘Being anal about it is a disturbing and somewhat disgusting image.’
      • ‘The anal paranoia that struck many parents and school administrators has diminished, and schools remain lax about security.’
      • ‘I know he is anal about his research from past years, so it would be a good place to start.’
      • ‘Because these egotists possess a certain anal personality, they summarily reject people who are often valuable assets to any company.’
      • ‘Plus, I didn't know you had to be anal to conjugate a verb.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Why am I so anal about writing HTML and not using tabs or spaces in my code?’
      • ‘Companies are anal about their files, but they should be anal about search.’
      • ‘I'm so anal about timekeeping that I almost experience physical pleasure when I get it spot on, which is 99% of the time.’
      • ‘I am neither strong nor anal about the ‘group system’ which, incidentally, and frankly, I think is quite a mess.’
      • ‘He's being anal about ‘Chinese Democracy’.’
      • ‘Have other people described you as being anal?’
      • ‘We all know about wishful thinking, about denial and defence mechanisms, repression, narcissism, Freudian slips and the anal personality.’
      • ‘I'm a mixture of untidy and anal.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I am simply not anal or autistic enough to beat the people who really love this game.’
      • ‘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, I am not satisfied that one person said ‘That's not what anal means’ I have to take the next step and explain it.’
      • ‘A friend of mine has a theory that everyone is either an anal, obsessive Bert or a laid-back Ernie.’


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