When something is bilateral it has two sides or it affects both sides of something. Discussions between two political parties are called bilateral because both sides get to share their views.

  • Pronunciation: /,baɪ'lætərəl/
  • English description: affecting or undertaken by two parties
  • Synonyms: mutual
  • Chinese Translation: 双边的(shuang1 bian1 de)
  • Spanish Translation: bilateral
  • ORIGIN: Bilateral comes from Latin: bi means "two" and lateral is means "belonging to the side." Debates about issues can be described as bilateral — as long as people on both sides get to speak. However, bilateral can describe anything with two sides, like some of the organs in the body: the brain, heart and lungs all have two distinct sides.


  • He said that Beijing did not want its trilateral and bilateral ties with the others to be disrupted again.
  • The official spoke anonymously because discussions on the content of the French-Chinese bilateral declaration were still ongoing.

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