auditory nerve


: either of the eighth pair of cranial nerves connecting the inner ear with the brain and transmitting impulses concerned with hearing and balance see ear illustration

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web This type of hearing loss, which affects many people, is currently untreatable; it isn’t helped by hearing aids or cochlear implants, both of which depend on the auditory nerve to send the final signals to the brain. Ashley P. Taylor, Discover Magazine, 14 Sep. 2012 That is why tinnitus often doesn’t go away when people get their auditory nerve surgically cut. Carl Zimmer, Discover Magazine, 26 Oct. 2010 Smoking can harm hearing in other ways, such as through alterations in auditory nerve signalling or by causing damage to the tiny hairs inside the ear. Holly Barker, Discover Magazine, 3 Nov. 2021 In a sense, cyborgs already walk among us: Nearly 200,000 deaf or near-deaf people have cochlear implants, electronic sound-processing machines that stimulate the auditory nerve and link into the brain. Andrew Grant, Discover Magazine, 27 June 2010 The signals from these cells are passed to the auditory nerve and decoded in the brain. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 15 Nov. 2012 Cochlear implants work by bypassing damaged parts of the ear and stimulating the auditory nerve directly, according to Shelley Duncan, an audiologist at Akron Children’s Hospital. Megan Becka, cleveland, 29 Sep. 2022 Rather than amplifying sound, as hearing aids do, cochlear implants send electrical signals directly to the auditory nerve, via an implant in the inner ear combined with an external sensor. Sonja Sharpstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 10 May 2022 The mechanical vibrations of the hair cells end up relaying signals to the auditory nerve, which sends that information to the brain. Dallas News, 21 July 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'auditory nerve.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1713, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of auditory nerve was in 1713

Dictionary Entries Near auditory nerve

Cite this Entry

“Auditory nerve.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition

auditory nerve

: a nerve connecting the inner ear with the brain and carrying nerve impulses concerned with hearing and balance

Medical Definition

auditory nerve

: either of the eighth pair of cranial nerves connecting the inner ear with the brain, transmitting impulses concerned with hearing and balance, and composed of the cochlear nerve and the vestibular nerve

called also acoustic nerve, auditory, eighth cranial nerve, vestibulocochlear nerve

More from Merriam-Webster on auditory nerve

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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