parasympathetic nervous system

noun

Definition of parasympathetic nervous system

: the part of the autonomic nervous system that contains chiefly cholinergic fibers, that tends to induce secretion, to increase the tone and contractility of smooth muscle, and to slow heart rate, and that consists of a cranial and a sacral part — compare sympathetic nervous system

Examples of parasympathetic nervous system in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The extra weight and pressure on the body helps trigger your parasympathetic nervous system, which lowers your heart rate and sort of switches your fight-or-flight response off. Rachel Feltman, Popular Science, "Gifts for the most stressed out people you know," 15 Dec. 2020 Try taking a deep exhale, which can stimulate your body's relaxation response through the parasympathetic nervous system. Stefanie Groner, Glamour, "How to Calm Down: 18 Ways to Reduce Anxiety and Stress," 2 Dec. 2020 Enjoyable sensory input—listening to a gurgling stream or petting a soft dog, for instance—can activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which commands resting conditions and helps to conserve energy. Jamie Kiffel-alcheh, National Geographic, "Tricks to settle your fidgeters, wigglers, and fingernail biters," 9 Sep. 2020 But breathing is also the key to accessing your parasympathetic nervous system, the aspect of your autonomic nervous system tasked with recovery and restoration. Dana Santas, CNN, "Why recovery is the key to effective exercise: How to reboot your workout routine," 31 Aug. 2020 This slower breathing and control of the breath, research has shown, helps with the parasympathetic nervous system, your body's ability to rest and digest, as well as the central nervous system. Stephanie Mansour, CNN, "Try this 5-minute yoga routine before bedtime," 12 Aug. 2020 Focusing on the rising and falling of our breath, even for 60 seconds, is another microstep that activates our parasympathetic nervous system, lowering our cortisol levels. NBC News, "Arianna Huffington on the best antidote to the stress and disconnection we are all feeling," 8 June 2020 The vagus nerve is the main component of the parasympathetic nervous system which monitors mood regulation, immune response, and other functions. Natalie Meade, Quartz, "The key to good mental health in quarantine is in the food you eat," 24 Apr. 2020 But one step on Canyon Ranch soil will send your parasympathetic nervous system into overdrive. Jennifer Fernandez, Town & Country, "The 10 Luxury Wellness Escapes You’ll Want to Book for 2020," 5 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'parasympathetic nervous system.' 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 parasympathetic nervous system

circa 1934, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for parasympathetic nervous system

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The first known use of parasympathetic nervous system was circa 1934

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Cite this Entry

“Parasympathetic nervous system.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/parasympathetic%20nervous%20system. Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for parasympathetic nervous system

parasympathetic nervous system

noun

Medical Definition of parasympathetic nervous system

: the part of the autonomic nervous system that contains chiefly cholinergic fibers, that tends to induce secretion, to increase the tone and contractility of smooth muscle, and to slow the heart rate, and that consists of (1) a cranial part made up of preganglionic fibers leaving and passing the midbrain by the oculomotor nerves and the hindbrain by the facial, glossopharyngeal, vagus, and accessory nerves and passing to the ciliary, sphenopalatine, submandibular, and otic ganglia of the head or to ganglionated plexuses of the thorax and abdomen and postganglionic fibers passing from these ganglia to end organs of the head and upper trunk and (2) a sacral part made up of preganglionic fibers emerging and passing in the sacral nerves and passing to ganglionated plexuses of the lower trunk and postganglionic fibers passing from these plexuses chiefly to the viscera of the lower abdomen and the external genital organs

called also parasympathetic system

— compare sympathetic nervous system

More from Merriam-Webster on parasympathetic nervous system

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about parasympathetic nervous system

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