optic nerve


Definition of 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

Examples of optic nerve in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Glaucoma is a gradual loss of vision caused by damage to the optic nerve. Richard Faulk, chicagotribune.com, "Glaucoma and medical marijuana: 5 informative facts," 5 Sep. 2019 Scans found no lesions on his optic nerves and genetic tests were negative for hereditary explanations for blindness. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "“Fussy eater” goes blind after years of eating only junk food," 4 Sep. 2019 Serene images of row after row of double-decker bike racks, with space for 12,500 (!) bicycles, were technically absorbed by my retina, where they were converted into electrochemical impulses and transferred along the optic nerve to my brain. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "I can’t wrap my feeble American brain around this massive bike parking garage in the Netherlands," 20 Aug. 2019 Astronauts commonly report diminished eyesight upon their return home, possibly because the eyeball changes shape in space and tissues surrounding the optic nerves become swollen. Brian Resnick, Vox, "Scientists are grappling with our biggest limitation in spaceflight: our own bodies," 18 July 2019 This is a swelling of the optic nerve that occurs when the lack of gravity causes fluids in the body to shift, allowing pressure to build up behind the eye. Los Angeles Times, "Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon. Who will be the first woman?," 18 July 2019 Multiple ocular colobomas are relatively common in snow leopards and can cause abnormalities to parts of the eye including the eyelids, iris and optic nerves, according to the zoo. Robin Goist, cleveland.com, "Snow leopard cub born at Akron Zoo," 5 June 2019 Claudio suddenly lost his sight in 2010 when a previously undiagnosed brain cancer crushed his optic nerve. Ysabelle Kempe, BostonGlobe.com, "What does it take to climb Mount Kilimanjaro when you’re blind?," 5 June 2019 Since her diagnosis, the actress has been open about her condition and its effect on the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. Ariel Henley, Allure, "How Fashion Lets Me Embrace the Physical Differences Caused by Crouzon Syndrome," 12 Mar. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of optic nerve

1615, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near optic nerve

optic disk


optic lobe

optic nerve




Statistics for optic nerve

Last Updated

18 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for optic nerve

The first known use of optic nerve was in 1615

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More Definitions for optic nerve

optic nerve


Medical Definition of 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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with optic nerve

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about optic nerve

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