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

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On the flip side, nature boosted the body’s parasympathetic nervous system activity by 55 percent, meaning participants were more relaxed. Christine Yu, SELF, "Wading in a Cranberry Bog Was the Therapeutic Experience I Didn’t Know I Needed," 26 Oct. 2018 These studies proved that music could lower blood pressure, decrease pulse rate and assists the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for digestion and some metabolic processes. Nicole Dellert, Allure, "I Tried a Sound Bath — Here's What This Meditative Practice Is Really Like," 24 Oct. 2018

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.

First Known Use of parasympathetic nervous system

circa 1934, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

5 Jan 2019

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The first known use of parasympathetic nervous system was circa 1934

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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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