optic nerve


: either of the second pair of cranial nerves that pass from the retina to the optic chiasma and conduct visual stimuli to the brain see eye illustration

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Furthermore, the pituitary gland also resides next to the optic nerve, which carries inputs from the eyes to the brain. Doug Adler, Discover Magazine, 14 Apr. 2020 Glaucoma damages the end of the optic nerve that connects to the retina, causing a gradual loss of vision. Paul Raeburn, Discover Magazine, 31 July 2010 Doctors eventually discovered optic nerve and brainstem damage. Caroline Catherman, Orlando Sentinel, 27 July 2022 An engineer shares his prototype for a chip implant that might restore sight to those with optic nerve damage. Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter, 4 Sep. 2022 Doctors there discovered damage to her optic nerve. Brendan Borrell, Outside Online, 28 Feb. 2017 Without his eyedrops, Pellegrin’s optic nerve would deteriorate under pressure inside his eyes; the blackness that occludes his peripheral vision would continue to encroach. Ben Taub, The New Yorker, 16 May 2022 All the information collected by sight is transmitted to the brain through a thick cable of fibers at the back of the eye called the optic nerve, the doctor explained, and the nerve in her left eye was hugely swollen. New York Times, 17 Mar. 2022 Pressure inside the eyes gradually erodes the optic nerve, creating blind spots—sometimes imperceptibly, at first. Ben Taub, The New Yorker, 16 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'optic nerve.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1615, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of optic nerve was in 1615

Dictionary Entries Near optic nerve

Cite this Entry

“Optic nerve.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/optic%20nerve. Accessed 31 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition

optic nerve

: either of a pair of sensory nerves that are the second pair of cranial nerves and carry visual information from the retina of the eye to the brain

Medical Definition

optic nerve

: either of the pair of sensory nerves that comprise the second pair of cranial nerves, arise from the ventral part of the diencephalon, form an optic chiasma before passing to the eye and spreading over the anterior surface of the retina, and conduct visual stimuli to the brain

called also second cranial nerve

More from Merriam-Webster on optic nerve

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