What does dorsal mean?

Here's a list of possible definitions for the term dorsal:

Princeton's WordNet

  1. dorsal(adj)

    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, dorsal(adj)

    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. dorsal(Adjective)

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

  2. dorsal(Adjective)

    Having only one sharp side.

  3. dorsal(Adjective)

    The top surface of foot and/or hand.

  4. Origin: From dorsalis.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Dorsal(adj)

    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. Dorsal(adj)

    pertaining to the surface naturally inferior, as of a leaf

  3. Dorsal(adj)

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

  4. Dorsal(adj)

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

  5. Origin: [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. 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

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