from Latin: latus — side
Lateral is an adjective with the meanings: Denoting a position farther from the median plane or midline of the body or a structure; relating to or situated at or on the side; to the right or left of the midsagittal plane. The designation of the term lateral is "at the side" or "turnt away from the body's centre". The term derives from the field of topographic anatomy and is used in fields of medicine to state specifications about the location respectively to relate structures spatially.
The opposite of lateral is medial.
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