Meaning of anterior in English:


Pronunciation /anˈtɪərɪə/

See synonyms for anterior on

Translate anterior into Spanish


  • 1Anatomy
    Nearer the front, especially in the front of the body, or nearer to the head or forepart.

    The opposite of posterior

    ‘the veins anterior to the heart’
    • ‘The anterior cruciate ligament joins the back of the inside of the thighbone to the outside front of the shinbone.’
    • ‘Operative findings revealed a mass within the left broad ligament, predominantly anterior to the uterus and crossing the midline.’
    • ‘A second separate irregular sacculated pouch was located anterior to the first in the septum and anterior left ventricular wall.’
    • ‘Physical examination revealed a golf-ball-sized lesion fixed to the hyoid bone in the anterior midline of the neck.’
    • ‘The aortic arch is anterior to the trachea, and the descending aorta is on the right side.’
    forepart, fore, foremost part, anterior, forefront, nose, head
    1. 1.1Botany (of a part of a flower or leaf) situated further away from the main stem.
      ‘One anterior petal is missing as well as a posterior stamen.’
      • ‘Usually the lateral stamens emerge first, then the anterior stamen.’
    2. 1.2Phonetics Pronounced with an obstruction located in front of the palato-alveolar region of the mouth, e.g. b, p, d, t.
      • ‘Over time the tension in the pronunciation of the consonant was relieved by beginning to pronounce it further and further forward in the mouth, anticipating the high anterior pronunciation of the vowel.’
  • 2 formal Coming before in time; earlier.

    ‘an incident anterior to her troubles’
    • ‘It is not contemplated that these prior, anterior selves and actions may be in fact constituted by, or be the effects of, the signs and codes that supposedly reflect them.’
    • ‘Since documentary is defined by the viewer's attribution of relevance to the anterior event, the deployment of the zoom and the viewer's reception of it is a very precarious situation.’
    • ‘In some anterior time, the burial mound had been desecrated, its jeweled contents taken away.’
    earlier, previous, preceding, foregoing, antecedent, advance, preparatory, preliminary, initial
    before, until, till, up to, previous to, earlier than, preceding, leading up to, in advance of, ahead of, ante-, pre-


Mid 16th century from French antérieur or Latin anterior, comparative of ante ‘before’.