climbing fiber


Definition of climbing fiber

: any of the afferent nerve fibers arising from neurons in the inferior olive that ascend to the cerebellar cortex to synapse with Purkinje cells The olive sends so-called climbing fibers up to the cerebellum where they wrap around Purkinje cells like vines around a tree, exerting a powerful influence on them …— Ingrid Wickelgren, Science, 11 Sept. 1998 Individual Purkinje neurons receive synaptic input from only a single climbing fiber, whereas each climbing fiber contacts 1-10 Purkinje neurons.— Eric R. Kandel et al., Principles of Neural Science, 4th Edition, 2000

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of climbing fiber

1950, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About climbing fiber

Time Traveler for climbing fiber

Time Traveler

The first known use of climbing fiber was in 1950

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near climbing fiber

climbing fern

climbing fiber

climbing fig

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for climbing fiber

Cite this Entry

“Climbing fiber.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Aug. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!