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[prok-suh-muh l] /ˈprɒk sə məl/
situated toward the point of origin or attachment, as of a limb or bone.
Compare distal (def 1).
Origin of proximal
1720-30; < Latin proxim(us) next (superlative of prope near) + -al1
Related forms
proximally, adverb
interproximal, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for proximal
  • Use gas, and get extorted by proximal countries who control gas.
  • They tend to start walking but develop muscle weakness in the part of the limb closest to the trunk, the proximal muscles.
  • Often, weakness is first noted in the shoulder muscles and proximal leg muscles.
  • Our illusions regarding control cause us to dismiss the dangers of proximal risk and amplify those of distant and unlikely risks.
  • The duodenum small bowel and proximal colon are intact and unremarkable.
  • They are proximal causes of the degradation of the world.
  • The phalanges are each ossified from two centers: one for the body, and one for the proximal extremity.
  • The proximal portion of the diverticulum becomes the ureter.
British Dictionary definitions for proximal


(anatomy) situated close to the centre, median line, or point of attachment or origin Compare distal
another word for proximate
Derived Forms
proximally, adverb


next or nearest in space or time
very near; close
immediately preceding or following in a series
a less common word for approximate
Derived Forms
proximately, adverb
proximateness, noun
proximation, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Late Latin proximāre to draw near, from Latin proximus next, from prope near
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for proximal

1727, from Latin proximus "nearest, next" (see proximity) + -al (1). Related: Proximally.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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proximal in Medicine

proximal prox·i·mal (prŏk'sə-məl)
Nearer to a point of reference such as an origin, a point of attachment, or the midline 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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