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[rey-dee-uh l] /ˈreɪ di əl/
arranged like radii or rays.
having spokes, bars, lines, etc., arranged like radii, as a machine.
made in the direction of a radius; going from the center outward or from the circumference inward along a radius:
a radial cut.
Zoology. pertaining to structures that radiate from a central point, as the arms of a starfish.
of, like, or pertaining to a radius or a ray.
  1. having pistons moving inward and outward from a central point or shaft:
    a radial engine; a radial pump.
  2. noting a bearing designed primarily to take thrusts radial to the center of rotation.
Anatomy, Entomology. of, relating to, or situated near the radius.
acting along or in the direction of the radius of a circle:
radial motion; radial velocity.
a radial section or construction.
Automotive. radial tire.
Origin of radial
1560-70; < Medieval Latin radiālis, equivalent to Latin radi(us) beam, ray (see radius) + -ālis -al1
Related forms
radiality, noun
radially, adverb
multiradial, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for radial
  • Rings represent kingdoms, radial wedges represent centuries, and the names of kingdoms are printed on the moveable arm.
  • He then examined the patient's other arm, quickly palpating the radial artery as if to confirm his findings.
  • Safety and reliability improvements include radial tires and custom a alignment that allows proper tracking with the newer tires.
  • The resulting surface slick will spread into a thin film due to the radial outflow of entrained water near the surface.
  • Bees tend to prefer radial, symmetrical arrangements typical of many flowers.
  • But let's say you shift to a different geometry: a graph with radial, or circular, coordinates.
  • It consists of two planes of fibers, between which the deep branch of the radial nerve lies.
  • It is situated at the radial side of the carpus, between the navicular and the first metacarpal bone.
  • It has been suggested that the radial arteries might function better than saphenous veins as conduits.
  • The radial nerve is the terminal branch of the posterior cord of the brachial plexus.
British Dictionary definitions for radial


(of lines, bars, beams of light, etc) emanating from a common central point; arranged like the radii of a circle
of, like, or relating to a radius or ray
spreading out or developing uniformly on all sides
of or relating to the arms of a starfish or similar radiating structures
(anatomy) of or relating to the radius or forearm
(astronomy) (of velocity) in a direction along the line of sight of a celestial object and measured by means of the red shift (or blue shift) of the spectral lines of the object Compare tangential (sense 2)
a radial part or section
  1. any of the basal fin rays of most bony fishes
  2. a radial or radiating structure, such as any of the ossicles supporting the oral disc of a sea star
Derived Forms
radially, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from Medieval Latin radiālis from radius
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for radial

c.1400, "of or like a ray or radius," from Medieval Latin radialis, from Latin radius "shaft, rod; spoke of a wheel; beam of light" (see radius). As a noun, a type of tire, attested from 1965, short for radial-ply (tire). Related: Radially.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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radial in Medicine

radial ra·di·al (rā'dē-əl)

  1. Of, relating to, or near the radius or forearm.

  2. Moving or directed along a radius.

  3. Radiating from or converging to a common center.

ra'di·al·ly adv.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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