What does dorsal mean?

Definitions for dorsal
ˈdɔr səldor·sal

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word dorsal.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. dorsaladjective

    belonging to or on or near the back or upper surface of an animal or organ or part

    "the dorsal fin is the vertical fin on the back of a fish and certain marine mammals"

  2. abaxial, dorsaladjective

    facing away from the axis of an organ or organism

    "the abaxial surface of a leaf is the underside or side facing away from the stem"


  1. dorsaladjective

    With respect to, or concerning the side in which the backbone is located, or the analogous side of an invertebrate.

  2. dorsaladjective

    Having only one sharp side.

  3. dorsaladjective

    The top surface of foot and/or hand.

  4. Etymology: From dorsalis.


  1. dorsal

    Dorsal generally refers to the upper side or back of an object, organism, or part of the body. In anatomical terms, it is used to describe something situated on or toward the upper side or back, relative to something else. The term is predominantly used in fields such as biology, anatomy, zoology, among others, to specify positional orientation. For instance, in animals, the dorsal side is typically the side that faces towards the sky.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Dorsaladjective

    pertaining to, or situated near, the back, or dorsum, of an animal or of one of its parts; notal; tergal; neural; as, the dorsal fin of a fish; the dorsal artery of the tongue; -- opposed to ventral

  2. Dorsaladjective

    pertaining to the surface naturally inferior, as of a leaf

  3. Dorsaladjective

    pertaining to the surface naturally superior, as of a creeping hepatic moss

  4. Dorsaladjective

    a hanging, usually of rich stuff, at the back of a throne, or of an altar, or in any similar position

  5. Etymology: [LL. dorsale, neut. fr. dorsalis. See Dorsal, a.]


  1. Dorsal

    Pertaining to the back or upper surface of the body; opposite of ventral.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Dorsal

    dor′sal, adj. pertaining or belonging to the back.—adv. Dor′sally.—n. Dorse (obs.), the back of a writing: a dossal: the back.—adj. Dorsibranch′iate, having gills on the back.—n. one of the Dorsibranchiata, including free marine worms.—adjs. Dorsif′erous, dorsigerous: dorsiparous; Dorsig′erous, carrying on the back; Dor′sigrade, walking on the back of the toes; Dorsip′arous, bearing fruit on the back: hatching young upon the back; Dor′sispin′al, pertaining to both the back and the spine; Dorsiven′tral, Dorsabdom′inal, pertaining to the back and the belly; Dorsocau′dal, superior and posterior in direction or position; Dorsocer′vical, pertaining to the back of the neck.—n. Dorsoflex′ion, a bending of the back, a bow.—adjs. Dorsolat′eral, pertaining to the back and the side; Dorsolum′bar, pertaining to the whole dorsal region of the trunk—also Dorsilum′bar; Dorsomē′dian, situated in the middle of the back; Dorsomes′al, lying along the middle line of the back—also Dorsimes′al; Dorsopleu′ral, pertaining to the back and the side.—n. Dors′um.—Send to dorse, to throw on the back. [Fr.,—L. dorsum, the back.]


  1. Dorsal

    of or belonging to the upper surface: in Diptera, that face of the laterally extended legs visible from above.

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How to say dorsal in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of dorsal in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of dorsal in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of dorsal in a Sentence

  1. Joanna Steinglass:

    This study was the first to test the hypothesis that the behaviors in anorexia nervosa meet the cognitive neuroscience definition of ‘habit’, we found that while patients with anorexia nervosa make choices about food, they show related activity in the dorsal striatum, whereas healthy individuals do not. This suggests different neural mechanisms are active for these individuals.

  2. Jim Serpa:

    When I saw the big bulbous head, the tiny dorsal fin way back on its back and the dagger teeth, I knew exactly what it was. It also had an odd blowhole thats farther up than any other whale and slightly off-center.

  3. The FWC:

    Warsaw are characterized by an elongated second dorsal spine, they're the only grouper with 10 dorsal spines ; all others have 11. Although adults usually occur in depths of 180-1700 ft, juveniles are occasionally seen around jetties and shallow-water reefs in the northern Gulf.

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Translations for dorsal

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"dorsal." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 27 May 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/dorsal>.

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