autonomic nervous system

noun

Definition of autonomic nervous system

: a part of the vertebrate nervous system that innervates smooth and cardiac muscle and glandular tissues and governs involuntary actions (such as secretion and peristalsis) and that consists of the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system

Examples of autonomic nervous system in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But purposeful breathing can trigger your parasympathetic system, or the part of your autonomic nervous system that opposes the fight-flight-freeze response. Emily Shiffer, SELF, "17 Easy-to-Follow Guided Breathing Videos for When You Need a Minute," 3 Nov. 2020 But breathing is also the key to accessing your parasympathetic nervous system, the aspect of your autonomic nervous system tasked with recovery and restoration. Dana Santas, CNN, "Why recovery is the key to effective exercise: How to reboot your workout routine," 31 Aug. 2020 Negative changes can occur in the areas of the brain responsible for memory, emotional regulation and control of the autonomic nervous system. Dallas News, "What you need to know about stress on the frontline," 19 Aug. 2020 This is an umbrella term for disorders that disturb the autonomic nervous system, which controls bodily functions such as breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, and digestion. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, "Long-Haulers Are Redefining COVID-19," 19 Aug. 2020 The central nervous system is in communication with the gut via the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system, the involuntary arm of the nervous system that controls heart rate, breathing, and digestion. Justin Sonnenburg, Scientific American, "Gut Feelings–the "Second Brain" in Our Gastrointestinal Systems [Excerpt]," 1 May 2015 The autonomic nervous system is tasked with the job of regulating the speed at which food transits through the gut, the secretion of acid in our stomach, and the production of mucus on the intestinal lining. Justin Sonnenburg, Scientific American, "Gut Feelings–the "Second Brain" in Our Gastrointestinal Systems [Excerpt]," 1 May 2015 Instead their movement is regulated by a precise neural dance formulated by our autonomic nervous system. Popular Science, "Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about muscles," 1 Jan. 2019 Both sensations set off a reaction in the body’s autonomic nervous system, which controls involuntary actions like breathing. Popular Science, "Unlocking the mysterious ecstasy of ASMR—and its agonizing cousin," 18 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'autonomic nervous system.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of autonomic nervous system

1898, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of autonomic nervous system was in 1898

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Cite this Entry

“Autonomic nervous system.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/autonomic%20nervous%20system. Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for autonomic nervous system

autonomic nervous system

noun

Medical Definition of autonomic nervous system

: a part of the vertebrate nervous system that innervates smooth and cardiac muscle and glandular tissues and governs involuntary actions (as secretion, vasoconstriction, or peristalsis) and that consists of the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system

called also vegetative nervous system

— compare central nervous system, peripheral nervous system

More from Merriam-Webster on autonomic nervous system

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about autonomic nervous system

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