cranial nerve

noun

Definition of cranial nerve 

: 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

When the brain either reacts to a stimulus spontaneously or decides to form an expression intentionally, a message is sent out over the sixth and seventh cranial nerves. Neil Steinberg, CNN, "How far would you go to be able to smile?," 13 June 2018 The rare cancer attacked his temporal bone, cranial nerve and inner ear. Makayla Tendall, ajc, "'See ya later, suckas!': Family writes unique obituary for 5-year-old cancer victim," 13 July 2018 Garrett, of Van Meter, Iowa, died July 6 of a rare cancer that attacked his temporal bone and cranial nerve. Fox News, "Obit, memorial service of 5-year-old Iowa boy gets attention," 13 July 2018 Garrett suffered from stage 4 Alveolar Fusion Negative Rhabdomyosarcoma (ARMS) which is a rare form of cancer that affected Garrett’s temporal bone, cranial nerve and inner ear, according to a GoFundMe created for him. PEOPLE.com, "5-Year-Old Boy Dying of Cancer Prepares His Own Amazing Obituary: 'See Ya Later, Suckas!'," 12 July 2018 The mechanism behind the light sensitivity specifically may be related to irritation of the trigeminal nerve, a cranial nerve that’s responsible for sensation in your face, Ilan Danan, M.D., M.Sc. Korin Miller, SELF, "9 Health Issues That Can Cause Sensitivity to Light," 5 June 2018 Now in clinical trials, monoclonal antibodies might prevent headaches from starting by blocking substances that carry pain signals to cranial nerves. R. Allan Purdy, Scientific American, "Can Anything Stop My Migraine?," 1 May 2017 Neurological exam: examination of the cranial nerves, cerebellar function, deep tendon reflexes, motor function, and sensory system were all normal. Jamie Ducharme, Time, "The White House Doctor Called President Trump's Health 'Excellent.' Here's the Full Summary of His Physical Exam," 18 Jan. 2018 The trigeminal nerve, or cranial nerve No. 5, has three branches. Dawn Filos, Philly.com, "Medical Mystery: What caused dog to have trouble closing his jaw, drinking water?," 15 Dec. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cranial nerve.' 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 cranial nerve

1840, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

17 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for cranial nerve

The first known use of cranial nerve was in 1840

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More Definitions for cranial nerve

cranial nerve

noun

Medical Definition of cranial nerve 

: 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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