olfactory nerve


: either of the pair of nerves that are the first cranial nerves and that arise in the olfactory neurosensory cells of the nasal mucous membrane and pass to the anterior part of the cerebrum

Examples of olfactory nerve in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Naegleria fowleri enters your body through the nose, crosses the epithelial lining and then makes a beeline up the olfactory nerve to the frontal part of the brain. Avery Hurt, Discover Magazine, 3 Oct. 2023 The olfactory nerve also sends signals to the parts of the brain responsible for emotions and memories (amygdala and hippocampus, respectively). Nick Blackmer, Verywell Health, 15 Aug. 2023 Even outside of the brain, the thin and wispy olfactory nerve is charged with shuttling information from the nose and mouth to the brain. Sara Novak, Discover Magazine, 23 Sep. 2021 Electrical signals are sent through the olfactory nerve directly to the olfactory cortex in the brain, which processes the smell. Nick Blackmer, Verywell Health, 15 Aug. 2023 Researchers believe persistent inflammation around the olfactory nerve may be causing the smell loss, but treatments like steroids that are known to reduce inflammation usually don't work, Dalton said. Karen Weintraub, USA TODAY, 14 June 2023 The ability to detect smells—baking bread, grass after rain, cigarette smoke, or your grandmother’s perfume—starts when these scent molecules float through the air, enter your nose, and bind to odor receptors, which relay information to the brain through the olfactory nerve. Emily Mullin, WIRED, 24 Jan. 2023 When the smell of a rose wafts up into your nasal cavity, the odor molecules bind to receptor neurons that send electrical signals up the olfactory nerves. IEEE Spectrum, 17 Oct. 2022 Although the sample was small, the results suggest that the sensory deficit is linked to an ongoing immune attack on cells responsible for smell -- which endures even after the virus is gone -- and a decline in the number of olfactory nerve cells. Arkansas Online, 25 Dec. 2022

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

1670, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of olfactory nerve was in 1670

Dictionary Entries Near olfactory nerve

Cite this Entry

“Olfactory nerve.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/olfactory%20nerve. Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

olfactory nerve

: either of a pair of sensory nerves that are the first cranial nerves, arise in the nose, and carry odor stimuli to the brain by way of the olfactory bulb

Medical Definition

olfactory nerve

: either of the pair of nerves that are the first cranial nerves, that serve to conduct sensory stimuli from the olfactory organ to the brain, and that arise from the olfactory cells as discrete bundles of unmyelinated fibers passing in small groups (in humans, about 20) through the cribriform plate of the ethmoid bone and terminating in the olfactory bulb

called also first cranial nerve

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