Something that is proximal is situated closest to the point of attachment or origin. In medicine, it means closest to the center of the body.

The opposite of proximal is distal and these terms are also used in geology. If you're talking about the proximal lava beds, you mean the ones closest to where the volcano erupted. Proximal is related to proximity, which means "nearness," and approximate, which means close to the original.

Definitions of proximal
  1. adjective
    situated nearest to point of attachment or origin
    “the proximal end of a bone”
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    situated farthest from point of attachment or origin, as of a limb or bone
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