Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Anatomy Relating to or situated on or close to the abdomen; abdominal.
  • adj. Anatomy Relating to or situated on or close to the anterior aspect of the human body or the lower surface of the body of an animal.
  • adj. Botany Of or on the lower or inner surface of an organ that faces the axis; adaxial.
  • n. A ventral fin.
  • n. The abdominal segment of an insect.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Related to the abdomen or stomach
  • adj. On the front side of the human body, or the corresponding surface of an animal, usually the lower surface.
  • adj. An anatomical term referring to the bottom portion of either foot and/or hand.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of, pertaining to, or situated near, the belly, or ventral side, of an animal or of one of its parts; hemal; abdominal; ; -- opposed to dorsal.
  • adj.
  • adj. Of or pertaining to that surface of a carpel, petal, etc., which faces toward the center of a flower.
  • adj. Of or pertaining to the lower side or surface of a creeping moss or other low flowerless plant. Opposed to dorsal.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In anatomy and zoology: Of or pertaining to the venter, in any sense; forming a venter; contained in a venter; having a venter; hollowed out like a venter; bellying; abdominal; uterine: as, ventral walls or cavities: ventral viscera; the ventral surface of the ilium or scapula; ventral fins.
  • Placed ventrad in the body; situated on the side or aspect of the body opposite the dorsal or back aspect; anterior or inferior; hemal.
  • In botany, belonging to the anterior surface of anything: as, a ventral suture, which is the line running down the front of a carpel on the side next the axis: the opposite of dorsal
  • n. In ichthyology, a ventral fin; one of the posterior or pelvic pair of fins, corresponding to the hind limbs of higher vertebrates, and distinguished from the pectorals: so called irrespective of their actual position: as. ventrals thoracic or jugular. Abbreviated V. or verb
  • n. In entomology, one of the segments of the abdomen as seen from beneath, especially in Coleoptera. They are distinguished as first, second, etc., counting backward. See urite, uromere.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. toward or on or near the belly (front of a primate or lower surface of a lower animal)
  • adj. nearest to or facing toward the axis of an organ or organism

Etymologies

Late Latin ventrālis, from Latin venter, ventr-, belly.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin ventrālis, from venter ("belly, abdomen"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I always correct my primatology students to use the term ventral-dorsal when they refer to the more usual animal mating position: doggy style.

    Observation: Gorillas Mate Face-To-Face

  • One pathway, known as the ventral route, is direct and efficient: We see a group of letters, convert those letters into a word and then directly grasp the word's meaning.

    Kant on a Kindle?

  • View larger image » An omphalocele is a birth defect known as a ventral wall defect, which involves the abdominal (belly) area of the fetus.

    Omphalocele

  • Both glucocorticoids and addictive drugs stimulate cells in a part of the brain called the ventral tegmental area (which sits atop the brainstem), to release the neurotransmitter dopamine.

    Thea Singer: Stress and Addiction -- How to Cope

  • The color stream in blue, is also called the ventral stream or the “what” stream.

    The Two-Streams Hypothesis

  • A region of the midbrain called the ventral striatum may be partly to blame for the fact that millions of Americans fell prey to risky financial gambles, such as adjustable rate mortgages.

    The Impulsive Deciders

  • It pumps blood forward through a big central artery called the ventral aorta.

    THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH

  • We found activity in a tiny little factory near the base of the brain called the ventral tegmental area.

    Helen Fisher studies the brain in love

  • They found robust activity in a brain region called the ventral tegmental area, which is rich in dopamine, a brain chemical connected to feelings of pleasure.

    Keeping Love Alive

  • A recent brain-imaging study of 26 young people conducted at UCLA revealed that a region of the brain called the ventral striatum, which normally responds to a reward or any new, unexpected stimulus, overreacts in teenagers.

    Teenage Brains Seem

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