Definition - In phonetics it denotes a sound made with the back of the tongue (e.g. the /k/ sound in /back/).

Etymology -
The word derives from the Late Latin dorsalis, of the back (from the Latin dorsum, back).

Oxford English Dictionary -
Its first citation in its phonetic sense is from 1933:
"English has no dorsal spirants, but they occur in many languages."
( Bloomfield Lang. vi. 101)

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