- The definition of dorsal is something related to the back or the upper side of a plant or animal.
The fin on a shark's back is an example of something that would be described as dorsal.
The dorsal fin of a dolphin.
- of, on, or near the back
- of or relating to the side of a leaf or other structure away from the axis; abaxial
- of or relating to the upper side of a thallus, as in liverworts or lichens
Origin of dorsalMiddle English ; from Medieval Latin dorsalis ; from Classical Latin dorsualis ; from dorsum, the back
- Anatomy Of, toward, on, in, or near the back or upper surface of an organ, part, or organism.
- Botany Of or on the surface of an organ or part facing away from the axis; abaxial.
Origin of dorsalMiddle English, from Medieval Latin dorsālis, from Latin dorsuālis, from dorsum, back.
- (anatomy) With respect to, or concerning the side in which the backbone is located, or the analogous side of an invertebrate.
- (of a knife) Having only one sharp side.
- (anatomy) Relating to the top surface of the foot or hand.
- (linguistics, of a sound) Produced using the dorsum of the tongue.
- (botany) Relating to the surface naturally inferior, as of a leaf.
- (botany) Relating to the surface naturally superior, as of a creeping hepatic moss.
From Middle French dorsal, from Latin dorsālis (“of or relating to the back”).