parasympathetic nervous system
Medical Definition of parasympathetic nervous system
: the part of the autonomic nervous system that contains chiefly cholinergic fibers, that tends to induce secretion, to increase the tone and contractility of smooth muscle, and to slow the heart rate, and that consists of (1) a cranial part made up of preganglionic fibers leaving and passing the midbrain by the oculomotor nerves and the hindbrain by the facial, glossopharyngeal, vagus, and accessory nerves and passing to the ciliary, sphenopalatine, submandibular, and otic ganglia of the head or to ganglionated plexuses of the thorax and abdomen and postganglionic fibers passing from these ganglia to end organs of the head and upper trunk and (2) a sacral part made up of preganglionic fibers emerging and passing in the sacral nerves and passing to ganglionated plexuses of the lower trunk and postganglionic fibers passing from these plexuses chiefly to the viscera of the lower abdomen and the external genital organs—called also parasympathetic system; compare sympathetic nervous system
Learn More about parasympathetic nervous system
Dictionary: Definition of "parasympathetic nervous system" Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about "parasympathetic nervous system"
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up parasympathetic nervous system? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).