in·​ner·​vate i-ˈnər-ˌvāt How to pronounce innervate (audio) ˈi-(ˌ)nər- How to pronounce innervate (audio)
innervated; innervating

transitive verb

: to supply with nerves
innervation noun

Examples of innervate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As new neighborhoods pop up, the desert is innervated by endless black roads. The Arizona Republic, 27 July 2023 The SetPoint implant is inserted beside the patient’s vagus nerve, which travels down from the brain to innervate the spleen and other vital organs. IEEE Spectrum, 26 Dec. 2022 For centuries, fad diets have preyed on those who've been brutalized by feminine beauty standards, and Johnson is breaking tradition with an ascetic set of rules designed to innervate a more masculine insecurity. Luke Winkie, Bon Appétit, 31 Aug. 2022 The mandibular nerve passes through this opening to innervate the teeth, gums and chin. David W. Frayer, Scientific American, 1 Feb. 2022 Different bundles innervate different muscle groups, allowing the potential for fairly precise control. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 8 Feb. 2022 Instead of balling up, the nerves innervated the muscle tissue, which greatly amplified their electrical signal. Matt Simon, Wired, 4 Mar. 2020 Based on experiments in rodents, Moskowitz believes CSD can trigger migraines by irritating a network of neurons, the trigeminovascular system, which innervates cerebral blood vessels. Emily Underwood, Science | AAAS, 18 May 2018 There, nerves that once commanded her hand and forearm—remnants of her amputation—now innervate her biceps and triceps muscles. Robbie Gonzalez, WIRED, 14 Mar. 2018

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

1870, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of innervate was in 1870

Dictionary Entries Near innervate

Cite this Entry

“Innervate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jul. 2024.

Medical Definition


transitive verb
in·​ner·​vate in-ˈər-ˌvāt, ˈin-(ˌ)ər- How to pronounce innervate (audio)
innervated; innervating
: to supply with nerves
: to arouse or stimulate (a nerve or an organ) to activity

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