cranial nerve

noun

: any of the nerves that arise in pairs from the lower surface of the brain one on each side and pass through openings in the skull to the periphery of the body and that comprise 12 pairs in reptiles, birds, and mammals and usually 10 in fishes and amphibians

Examples of cranial nerve in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web An ophthalmologist had identified cranial nerve abnormalities and had sent her to the emergency department. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 22 Nov. 2023 That’s because the tongue is controlled by a cranial nerve, but the hands are controlled by spinal nerves. R. Douglas Fields, Quanta Magazine, 28 Aug. 2023 Named after the Vagus Nerve (the largest cranial nerve in the body that helps to regulate stress) its purpose is to provide a calming effect through aromatherapy. Alida Nugent, Better Homes & Gardens, 12 Sep. 2023 The device works by stimulating the trigeminal nerve, the largest cranial nerve, which carries sensory information from the face to the brain, and which has also been associated with the pain of migraine headaches. IEEE Spectrum, 12 Mar. 2014 The tongue is controlled by the 12th cranial nerve, called the hypoglossal nerve. R. Douglas Fields, Quanta Magazine, 28 Aug. 2023 Even for people who do recover from EEE, they can be left with long-term physical or mental impairments, which can range from brain dysfunction to severe intellectual impairment, personality disorders, seizures, paralysis and cranial nerve dysfunction, according to the CDC. John Sharp | Jsharp@al.com, al, 22 Aug. 2023 Some antibiotics damage the cranial nerves, involved in hearing and balance, as well as the kidneys. Karen Weintraub, USA TODAY, 30 July 2023 In 2019, Stafford underwent a 12-hour operation to remove the brain tumor that was resting on her cranial nerves. Cara Lynn Shultz, Peoplemag, 25 July 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cranial 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

1840, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cranial nerve was in 1840

Dictionary Entries Near cranial nerve

Cite this Entry

“Cranial nerve.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cranial%20nerve. Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

cranial nerve

noun
: any of the paired nerves that arise from the lower surface of the brain and pass through openings in the skull

Medical Definition

cranial nerve

noun
: any of the 12 paired nerves that arise from the lower surface of the brain with one of each pair on each side and pass through openings in the skull to the periphery of the body see abducens nerve, accessory nerve, auditory nerve, facial nerve, glossopharyngeal nerve, hypoglossal nerve, oculomotor nerve, olfactory nerve, optic nerve, trigeminal nerve, trochlear nerve, vagus nerve

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