Advertisement Upgrade to remove ads

Term: Region or Reference: Example


The Front; Before
e.g. The navel is on the anterior (ventral) surface of the trunk.


The belly side (equivalent to anterior when referring to the human body).


The back; behind
e.g. The shoulder blade is located posterior (dorsal) to the rib cage.


The back (equivalent to posterior when referring to the human body).

Cranial or Cephalic

The head;
e.g. The cranial, or cephalic, border of the pelvis is superior to the thigh.


Above; at a higher level (in the human body; toward the head).


The tail (coccyx in humans).
e.g. The hips are caudal to the waist.


Below; at a lower level.
e.g. The knees are inferior to the hips.


Toward the body's longitudinal axis.
e.g. The medial surfaces of the thighs may be in contact; moving medially from the arm across the chest surface brings you to the sternum.


Away from the body's longitudinal axis.
e.g. The thigh articulates with the lateral surface of the pelvis; moving laterally from the nose brings you to the eyes.


Toward an attached base.
e.g. The thigh is proximal to the foot; moving proximally from the wrist brings you to the elbow.


Away from an attached base.
e.g. The fingers are distal to the wrist; moving distally from the elbow brings you to the wrist.


At, near, or relatively close to the body surface.
e.g. The scalp is superficial to the skull.


Farther from the body surface.
e.g. The bone of the thigh is deep to the surrounding skeletal muscles.

Please allow access to your computer’s microphone to use Voice Recording.

Having trouble? Click here for help.

We can’t access your microphone!

Click the icon above to update your browser permissions above and try again


Reload the page to try again!


Press Cmd-0 to reset your zoom

Press Ctrl-0 to reset your zoom

It looks like your browser might be zoomed in or out. Your browser needs to be zoomed to a normal size to record audio.

Please upgrade Flash or install Chrome
to use Voice Recording.

For more help, see our troubleshooting page.

Your microphone is muted

For help fixing this issue, see this FAQ.

Star this term

You can study starred terms together

NEW! Voice Recording