Definition of epidural in English:



Anatomy Medicine
  • On or around the dura mater, in particular (of an anaesthetic) introduced into the space around the dura mater of the spinal cord.

    • ‘They can also be given in the epidural space in the spinal column where nerves exit.’
    • ‘They can also be given through an epidural catheter (a thin tube).’
    • ‘The neurologist who examined her found and drained an epidural abscess from the lumbar region.’
    • ‘Most epidural abscesses are located posteriorly in the thoracic or lumbar spine.’
    • ‘Patients with epidural hematoma usually have a history of recent spinal procedure or trauma.’


  • An epidural anaesthetic, used especially in childbirth to produce loss of sensation below the waist.

    • ‘Anaesthetists routinely provide epidurals for both vaginal and caesarean deliveries.’
    • ‘Most hospitals use IV medicines or epidurals for pain relief.’
    • ‘Little attention has been paid to other obstetric interventions such as epidurals, episiotomies, and instrumental births’
    • ‘In many hospitals, labor pain management options are limited to epidurals, parenteral analgesics, or rudimentary labor support from overextended nurses.’
    • ‘Over 1000 nulliparous women who requested epidurals in labour participated in a randomised controlled trial comparing low dose spinal anaesthetic, low dose epidural, and conventional epidural.’
    • ‘Every time I pick up the paper I read about women's awful experiences of childbirth, of epidurals, of cold, sterile hospitals, Caesarians, epistimologies, birthing like a factory process, pregnancy treated like an illness.’
    • ‘Anaesthetists want to prove epidurals work well and they don't want to follow up on stories of backache or discomfort.’
    • ‘Conversely, because epidurals can provide excellent analgesia, patients will require no systemic sedative analgesia, which is also identified in the editorial as a cause of immobility.’
    • ‘Her work's on epidurals, pain relief in childbirth and how very dicey it is getting the needle into the right place.’
    • ‘Besides the discomfort of administering the epidural and the fact that it may take a half hour to 90 minutes for pain relief to take effect, mothers opting for epidurals risk these side effects.’
    • ‘The policy states that epidurals should not be denied because of the patient's insurance and that nurses should not be restricted from managing regional anesthesia.’
    • ‘These types of epidurals is not discussed here.’
    • ‘The review also studied the use of delayed pushing as a labor management strategy in women with epidurals.’
    • ‘Despite unopposed parasympathetic activity, epidurals do not increase leak rates.’
    • ‘Finally, it is noteworthy that caregiver preferences may to a large extent dictate the use of epidurals and other medical procedures for laboring women.’
    • ‘This included the ability to induce labour and the use of epidurals to ease difficult pregnancies.’
    • ‘A low-dose epidural is also a way of giving women a brief rest from the pain during early labour.’
    • ‘Unsuccessful attempts at administering the epidural should be recorded factually with no editorial comments.’
    • ‘Where available, more than one in five women will request epidurals for pain relief in labour.’
    • ‘Ask your doctor what percentage of their patients receive an epidural.’


Late 19th century from epi-‘upon’ + dura+ -al.