Peripheral means "away from the center." It refers to the areas away from the center of the body or a body part. For example, the hands are peripheral to the shoulder. The toes are peripheral to the knees.
Review Date: 2/23/2009 Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.