no·​ci·​cep·​tor ˌnō-si-ˈsep-tər How to pronounce nociceptor (audio)
: a receptor (as in the skin) for nociceptive stimuli : a pain sense organ

Examples of nociceptor in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But even here, there are differences separating species: What does the nervous system do with signals from its nociceptors? Bill Wasik and Monica Murphy Gabra Zackman Emma Kehlbeck Lance Neal, New York Times, 23 Apr. 2024 Scientists have established that fish do have nociceptors. Avery Hurt, Discover Magazine, 9 June 2023 One is the presence of nociceptors—neurons that respond to painful stimuli from the outside world. WIRED, 16 Mar. 2023 James Rose, an avid angler and professor emeritus of zoology at the University of Wyoming, has claimed fish don’t possess a human-like capacity for pain because our nociceptors—neural cells that transmit pain reflexively—are different. Ali Francis, Bon Appétit, 15 Mar. 2023 At the anatomical level, fish have neurons known as nociceptors, which detect potential harm, such as high temperatures, intense pressure, and caustic chemicals. Ferris Jabr, Smithsonian, 8 Jan. 2018 Acute pain begins with nociceptors—long neurons that originate in the spinal cord and end as thin fibers in the skin. Erika Hayasaki, WIRED, 18 Apr. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'nociceptor.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


noci- (in nociceptive) + (re)ceptor

First Known Use

1906, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of nociceptor was in 1906

Dictionary Entries Near nociceptor

Cite this Entry

“Nociceptor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2024.

Medical Definition


no·​ci·​cep·​tor -ˈsep-tər How to pronounce nociceptor (audio)
: a receptor for injurious or painful stimuli : a pain sense organ

More from Merriam-Webster on nociceptor

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