glossopharyngeal nerve


glos·​so·​pha·​ryn·​geal nerve ˌglä-sō-ˌfer-ən-ˈjē-əl- How to pronounce glossopharyngeal nerve (audio)
-fə-ˈrin-j(ē-)əl- How to pronounce glossopharyngeal nerve (audio)
: either of the ninth pair of cranial nerves that are mixed nerves and supply chiefly the pharynx, posterior tongue, and parotid gland

called also glossopharyngeal

Examples of glossopharyngeal nerve in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web There are two cranial nerves responsible for taste perception in different areas of the tongue: the glossopharyngeal nerve in the back and the chorda tympani branch of the facial nerve in the front. Steven D Munger, Smithsonian, 23 May 2017

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


glosso- + pharyngeal

First Known Use

circa 1823, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of glossopharyngeal nerve was circa 1823

Dictionary Entries Near glossopharyngeal nerve

Cite this Entry

“Glossopharyngeal nerve.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2023.

Medical Definition

glossopharyngeal nerve

: a mixed nerve that is either of the ninth pair of cranial nerves, that has sensory fibers arising from the superior and petrosal ganglia and motor fibers arising with those of the vagus nerve from the lateral wall of the medulla, and that supplies chiefly the pharynx, posterior tongue, and parotid gland with motor and sensory fibers including gustatory and autonomic secretory and vasodilator fibers

called also glossopharyngeal, ninth cranial nerve

More from Merriam-Webster on glossopharyngeal nerve

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