- The more (or most) distant of two (or more) things. For example, the distal end of the femur (the thigh bone) is the end down by the knee. For another example, the distal bile duct is the far end of the cystic duct, the end away from the gallbladder. And for a last example, the distal lymph node in a chain of nodes is the most distant one. The opposite of "distal" is "proximal." Taking the same three examples, the proximal end of the femur is the end of the thigh bone up by the hip, the proximal bile duct is the end nearest the gallbladder), and the proximal lymph node is the nearest one of all nodes under consideration.
* * *1. Situated away from the center of the body, or from the point of origin; specifically applied to the extremity or distant part of a limb or organ. 2. In dentistry, away from the median sagittal plane of the face, following the curvature of the dental arch. SYN: distalis [TA]. [L. distalis]
* * *dis·tal 'dis-təl adj1) situated away from the point of attachment or origin or a central point: asa) located away from the center of the body <the \distal end of a bone> compare PROXIMAL (1a)c) of, relating to, or being the surface of a tooth that is next to the following tooth counting from the middle of the front of the upper or lower jaw or that faces the back of the mouth in the case of the last tooth on each side compare MESIAL (3), PROXIMAL (1b)dis·tal·ly -ē adv
* * *adj.1. (in anatomy) situated away from the origin or point of attachment or from the median line of the body. For example, the term is applied to a part of a limb that is furthest from the body; to a blood vessel that is far from the heart; and to a nerve fibre that is far from the central nervous system. Compare proximal.
* * *dis·tal (D) (disґtəl) [L. distans distant] 1. remote; farther from any point of reference; opposed to proximal. 2. in dentistry, a position on the dental arch farther from the median line of the jaw.
Medical dictionary. 2011.