parasympathetic nervous system

noun

: 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 exercise can also help activate the parasympathetic nervous system, a window to rest, relaxation, and recovery. Dominique Fluker, Essence, 2 Apr. 2024 Research reveals that humming can be a stress-buster, promoting parasympathetic nervous system activation and slowing down sympathetic stress responses. Gen Cleary, Rolling Stone, 1 Feb. 2024 Helping to shift focus away from what’s in front of us kickstarts the parasympathetic nervous system, which encourages everything to slow down and our bodies to move out of panic mode. Georgia Day, Vogue, 30 Oct. 2023 The vagus nerve is part of the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps the body rest and relax. Aria Bendix, NBC News, 3 Nov. 2023 Ideally, the stress response should turn on quickly, and turn off quickly, switching between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, respectively. Tree Meinch, Discover Magazine, 13 Feb. 2023 Optical flow has been shown to activate the parasympathetic nervous system (or rest and digest mode) and improve creative thought. Hannah Coates, Vogue, 17 Aug. 2023 This vast nerve, which is really more of a meandering network, plays a key role in activating the relaxing parasympathetic nervous system. Tree Meinch, Discover Magazine, 30 Aug. 2021 This can help with relaxation by turning on your parasympathetic nervous system. Alexa Tucker, Women's Health, 26 May 2023

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

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1934, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of parasympathetic nervous system was circa 1934

Dictionary Entries Near parasympathetic nervous system

Cite this Entry

“Parasympathetic nervous system.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/parasympathetic%20nervous%20system. Accessed 26 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

parasympathetic nervous system

noun
: the part of the autonomic nervous system that is concerned with controlling the body during normal routine situations and that tends to cause secretion of the digestive and salivary glands and slow the heart rate and that acts on bodily organs by releasing acetylcholine at the ends of nerve fibers supplying them compare sympathetic nervous system

Medical Definition

parasympathetic nervous system

noun
: 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

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