parasympathetic

1 of 2

adjective

para·​sym·​pa·​thet·​ic ˌper-ə-ˌsim-pə-ˈthe-tik How to pronounce parasympathetic (audio)
ˌpa-rə-
: of, relating to, being, or acting on the parasympathetic nervous system

parasympathetic

2 of 2

noun

1
: a parasympathetic nerve
2

Examples of parasympathetic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
It is involved in parasympathetic processes of the heart, lungs, and digestive tract. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 16 Feb. 2024 Not only that, taking time to care for your body helps activate your parasympathetic immune system, which helps relax your body, regenerating your energy. India Espy-Jones, Essence, 1 Feb. 2024 This may sound worrying, but researchers agree there aren’t many negative side effects from excessive parasympathetic action. Shi En Kim, Scientific American, 28 Dec. 2023 Scientists suspect that when people faint, their parasympathetic response becomes exaggerated, so their heart rate, blood pressure and breathing slow down too much. Aria Bendix, NBC News, 3 Nov. 2023 Pupil size variation was due to active constriction by the parasympathetic pathway of the nervous system, which regulates homeostasis and the body at rest. Charlotte Hu, Discover Magazine, 18 Jan. 2018 Yoga stretching, in particular, may enhance parasympathetic nerve activity and positively impact stress hormones, a more recent study in the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine found. Erin Warwood, Women's Health, 12 Apr. 2023 Ideally, when the task is complete or the problem is solved, the stress goes away, and our nervous system returns to a parasympathetic—or calm—state. Mira Miller, Verywell Health, 4 Apr. 2023 That’s probably because crying is the outcome of a sudden physiological shift in our bodies, when our sympathetic system—the one responsible for our fight or flight response—cedes control to our parasympathetic system, which powers our rest or digest response. Gloria Liu, Outside Online, 8 Oct. 2022
Noun
Parasympathetic has two other states though- the rest and digest and according to the Polyvagal Theory, the ventral vagal branch of the parasympathetic which is social engagement. Womensmedia, Forbes, 15 Apr. 2021 But purposeful breathing can trigger your parasympathetic system, or the part of your autonomic nervous system that opposes the fight-flight-freeze response. Emily Shiffer, SELF, 3 Nov. 2020 Those two arms are the parasympathetic and the sympathetic nervous systems, says Lawrence Creswell, a cardiac surgeon in Jackson, Miss., who studies sports cardiology. Charles Wallace, WSJ, 25 June 2017 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

International Scientific Vocabulary

First Known Use

Adjective

1905, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1916, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of parasympathetic was in 1905

Dictionary Entries Near parasympathetic

Cite this Entry

“Parasympathetic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/parasympathetic. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

parasympathetic

adjective
para·​sym·​pa·​thet·​ic
ˌpar-ə-ˌsim-pə-ˈthet-ik
: of, relating to, being, or acting on the parasympathetic nervous system

Medical Definition

parasympathetic

1 of 2 adjective
para·​sym·​pa·​thet·​ic ˌpar-ə-ˌsim-pə-ˈthet-ik How to pronounce parasympathetic (audio)
: of, relating to, being, or acting on the parasympathetic nervous system
parasympathetic fibers of the vascular wall
parasympathetic drugs

parasympathetic

2 of 2 noun
1
: a parasympathetic nerve
this sacral group of parasympathetics supplies fibers to the external genitaliaA. C. Guyton
2
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!