situated before or at the front of; fore (opposed to posterior ).
going before in time or sequence; preceding; earlier: events anterior to the outbreak of war.
Linguistics. (in distinctive feature analysis) articulated in the region extending from the alveolar ridge to the lips; alveolar, dental, or labial.
(in animals and embryos) pertaining to or toward the head or forward end of the body.
(in humans) pertaining to or toward the front plane of the body, equivalent to the ventral surface of quadrupeds.
Botany. on the front side and away from the main axis, as the lower lip of a flower.

1535–45; < Latin, comparative of ante before, formed on model of posterior

anteriority [an-teer-ee-awr-i-tee, -or-] , noun
anteriorly, adverb
nonanterior, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
anterior (ænˈtɪərɪə)
1.  situated at or towards the front
2.  earlier in time
3.  zoology of or near the head end
4.  botany (of part of a flower or leaf) situated farthest away from the main stem
[C17: from Latin, comparative of ante before]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1610s, from L., lit. "former," comp. of ante "before" (see ante).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

anterior an·te·ri·or (ān-tēr'ē-ər)

  1. Placed before or in front.

  2. Occurring before in time; earlier.

  3. Of or relating to the front surface of the body, especially of the position of one structure relative to another; ventral.

  4. Near the head or rostral end of certain embryos.

The front surface of the body.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
The disgusting odours, he found, activated part of the brain called the
  anterior insula.
Your front body (anterior) is tight.
The struggle for water is the anterior theme.
The anterior border is the longest and slopes downward and forward.
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