Orientation and Directional Terms

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Superior definition

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21 Terms
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Superior definition

toward the head end or upper part of a structure or the body; above

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2
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Superior example

the head is superior to the abdomen

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3
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Inferior definition

away from the head end or toward the lower part of a structure or the body; below

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4
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Inferior example

the naval is inferior to the chin

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5
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Anterior definition

toward or at the front of the body; in front of

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6
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Anterior example

the breastbone is anterior to the spine

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7
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Posterior definition

toward or at the back or the body; behind

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8
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Medial definition

toward or at the midline of the body; on the inner side of

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9
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Medial example

the heart is medial to the arm

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10
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Lateral definition

away from the midline of the body; on the outer side of

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11
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Lateral example

the arms are lateral to the chest

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Intermediate definition

between a more medial and a more lateral structure

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13
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Intermediate example

the collarbone is intermediate between the breastbone and shoulder

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14
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Proximal definition

closer to the origin of the body part of the point of attachment of a limb to the body trunk

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15
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Proximal example

the elbow is proximal to the wrist

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Distal definition

farther from the origin of a body part or the point of attachment of a limb to the body trunk

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Distal example

the knee is distal to the thigh

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18
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Superficial definition

toward or at the body surface

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19
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Superficial example

the skin is superficial to the skeletal muscles

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Deep definition

away from the body surface; more internal

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Deep example

the lungs are deep to the skin

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