1. Of, relating to, or situated at or on the side.
2. Of or constituting a change within an organization or hierarchy to a position at a similar level, as in salary or responsibility, to the one being left: made a lateral move within the company.
3. Linguistics Of, relating to, or being a sound produced by breath passing along one or both sides of the tongue.
1. A lateral part, projection, passage, or appendage.
2. Football A lateral pass.
3. Linguistics A lateral sound, such as (l).
v. lat·er·aled, lat·er·al·ing, lat·er·als also lat·er·alled or lat·er·al·ling
To execute a lateral pass.
To pass (the ball) sideways or backward.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin laterālis, from latus, later-, side.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.