Definition of parietal in US English:



  • 1Anatomy Biology
    Of, relating to, attached to, or denoting the wall of the body or of a body cavity or hollow structure.

    • ‘A large tumor was found that originated from the parietal pleura at the dorsal site.’
    • ‘In the derived condition, the parietal is discontinuous around the lateral margin of the parietal fenestra with the squamosal forming part of this margin.’
    • ‘Superficial tenderness can arise from the skin, the subcutaneous tissues, the muscle or fascia of the abdominal wall, the anterior parietal peritoneum, or a very tender organ that lies next to the anterior abdominal wall.’
    • ‘Metastases were present in the vertebral bodies, spleen, peritoneum, pleura, adrenal glands, visceral and parietal pericardium, and multiple lymph nodes.’
    • ‘The frontals are fused medially and enclose the parietal foramen and anterior sagittal crest.’
    1. 1.1 Of the parietal lobe.
      ‘the parietal cortex’
      • ‘That said, it is interesting to note that a recent autopsy examination of Einstein's preserved brain did uncover extra tissue in the parietal cortex, which mediates spatial cognition.’
      • ‘Both research teams found that low- and high-capacity subjects differed in levels of brain activity in the parietal cortex, a region of the brain known to be involved in the processing of visual and spatial information.’
      • ‘Zapping the parietal cortex at the right moment with TMS can block processing downstream in the visual cortex.’
      • ‘She skillfully uses patients suffering from neglect due to parietal lesions to explore a number of central questions in the study of spatial representations.’
      • ‘The posterior parietal cortex then sorts out bodily movements corresponding to the observed actions.’
  • 2North American Relating to residence in a college or university dormitory and especially to visits from members of the opposite sex.

    ‘parietal rules’
  • 3Archaeology
    Denoting prehistoric art found on rock walls.

    • ‘It seems likely, therefore, that Archaic hunter-gatherers were the first to produce parietal art in southeastern caves and that its production may have related to economic activities like mining.’


  • 1Anatomy Zoology
    A parietal structure.

    • ‘Two additional, albeit smaller, processes are present along the posterior emargination of the parietal.’
    • ‘All species have two chloroplasts, one parietal in each of the two main plates.’
    1. 1.1
      short for parietal bone
      • ‘Together with the quadrates, the opisthotics and various dermal bones, such as the parietals and the squamosals, the bones of the occiput form the back of the skull.’
      • ‘The postorbitofrontal forms its primary contact with the frontal rather than the parietal, and the supraoccipital is firmly attached to the ventral side of the parietal.’
      • ‘The missing ‘tooth-shaped’ block at upper rear of the skull is made up of the squamosal and parietal.’
      • ‘The supraoccipital contacts the parietals of the skull table dorsally and the exoccipitals ventrally.’
      • ‘However, as the temporal fenestra expands to ludicrous proportions in the cynodonts, the skull table is reduced to a saggital crest formed by the parietal.’
  • 2parietalsNorth American informal Rules governing visits from members of the opposite sex to a college or university dormitory.


Late Middle English: from late Latin parietalis, from Latin paries, pariet- ‘wall’.