Last updated: June 21, 2018

What Does Dorsal Mean?

Dorsal is an anatomical term of location that refers to the back or top of the body. In most instances, the term dorsal will refer to a person's back or posterior anatomical plane. However, when referring the the skull, the term dorsal refers to the top.


WorkplaceTesting Explains Dorsal

When used in anatomy, dorsal is a directional term used to refer to the back of the body. The spine and the back of the legs and arms are all located dorsally. In contrast, the abdomen and face are located on the ventral side of the body. For non-humans, dorsal may refer to the back or top of the creature depending on how it is positioned. For example, the dorsal fin of a shark or dolphin is the fin located on the animal's back. This is also considered the top side of the animal.


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