V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: 1. having or involving two sides; 2. between two groups, especially in politics

Synonyms: two-sided, two-way, reciprocal, joint, symmetrical

Antonyms: unilateral, multilateral, asymmetrical

Tips: When used in its political sense, bilateral usually refers to some sort of agreement made between two countries, such as a treaty or accord. Its opposites in this sense are multilateral, which is an agreement between three or more nations, and unilateral, which is an action by one state. In biology and medicine, bilateral often refers to something affecting both sides of the body.

Usage Examples:

The two countries signed a bilateral treaty that set limits on allowable water pollution levels, in hopes of protecting the rivers and lakes that stretched across both borders. (joint, reciprocal)

The best swimmers use bilateral breathing to balance their freestyle stroke, rather than breathing to only one side. (symmetrical, two-sided)

The bilateral agreement we signed with our client will allow both sides to make changes to the project plan, as necessary. (two-sided, reciprocal)

Joanna and her husband have a truly bilateral relationship; she is the yin to his yang. (reciprocal, two-way)

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