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Directional Terms

TermDefinitionExample
Inferior (caudal) Away from the head end or toward the lower part of a structure or the body; below The navel is _________ to the breastbone.
Ventral (anterior) Toward or at the front of the body; in front of The breastbone is _______ to the spine.
Dorsal (posterior) Toward or at the backside of the body; behind The heart is _________ to the breastbone.
Medial Toward or at the midline of the body; on the inner side of The heart is ________ to the arm.
Lateral Away from the midline of the body; on the outer side of The arms are __________ to the chest.
Intermediate Between a more medial and a more lateral structure The collarbone is __________ between the breastbone and the shoulder.
Proximal Close to the origin of the body part or the point of attachment of a limb to the body trunk The elbow is _________ to the wrist. *This means that the elbow is closer to the shoulder or attachment point of the arm than the wrist is.
Distal Farther from the origin of a body part or the point of attachment of a limb to the body trunk The knee is _________ to the thigh.
Superficial (external) Toward or at the body surface The skin is __________ to the skeleton.
Deep (internal) Away from the body surface; more internal The lungs are _______ to the rib cage.
Superior (cranial or cephalad) Toward the head or upper part of a structure or the body; above The forehead is _________ to the nose.
Created by: Gllive