Definition of Proximal

Proximal: Toward the beginning, the nearer of two (or more) items. For example, the proximal end of the femur is part of the hip joint, and the shoulder is proximal to the elbow. The opposite of proximal is distal.

For a more complete listing of terms used in medicine for spatial orientation, please see the entry to "Anatomic Orientation Terms".


Last Editorial Review: 8/28/2013

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