1. [syn: lateral line, lateral line organ]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Lateral \Lat"er*al\, a. [L. lateralis, fr. latus, lateris, side:
cf. F. lat['e]ral.]
1. Of or pertaining to the sides; as, the lateral walls of a
house; the lateral branches of a tree.
2. (Anat.) Lying at, or extending toward, the side; away from
the mesial plane; external; -- opposed to mesial.
3. Directed to the side; as, a lateral view of a thing.
Lateral cleavage (Crystallog.), cleavage parallel to the
Lateral equation (Math.), an equation of the first degree.
Lateral line (Anat.), in fishes, a line of sensory organs
along either side of the body, often marked by a distinct
line of color.
Lateral pressure or stress (Mech.), a pressure or stress
at right angles to the length, as of a beam or bridge; --
distinguished from longitudinal pressure or stress.
Lateral strength (Mech.), strength which resists a tendency
to fracture arising from lateral pressure.
Lateral system (Bridge Building), the system of horizontal
braces (as between two vertical trusses) by which lateral
stiffness is secured.
[1913 Webster] lateral
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: sense organs of fish and amphibians; believed to detect
pressure changes in the water [syn: lateral line,
lateral line organ]