peripheral nervous system


Definition of peripheral nervous system

: the part of the nervous system that is outside the central nervous system and comprises the cranial nerves excepting the optic nerve, the spinal nerves, and the autonomic nervous system

Examples of peripheral nervous system in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Guillain-Barre syndrome occurs when the body’s own immune system attacks and injures the nerves outside of the spinal cord or brain – the peripheral nervous system. Aarti Sarwal, The Conversation, "Rare neurological disorder, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, linked to COVID-19," 7 July 2020 And the peripheral nervous system, which carries pain signals from the source, can be involved in chronic pain — along with, or instead of, the spinal cord and brain. Lenny Bernstein, Washington Post, "For some with chronic pain, the problem is not in their backs or knees but their brains," 23 Sep. 2019 Last month, Ashley, 34, revealed that her husband was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare neurological disorder in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the peripheral nervous system. Benjamin Vanhoose,, "Ashley Hebert Says She Saw Husband J.P. Rosenbaum Cry for the First Time Over Health Crisis," 14 Jan. 2020 The peripheral nervous system, which relays information from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body — from vital organs to skin — has gotten relatively short shrift., "Those are among the questions that researchers at a new Cambridge biotech are exploring. The startup, Cygnal Therapeutics, is officially emerging from “stealth mode” on Tuesday, two years after it was founded by Flagship Pioneering, the venture capital firm in the same city.," 8 Oct. 2019 The brain and spinal cord make up the central nervous system, while the nerves running from them form the peripheral nervous system. Lynn Peterson Mobley, Washington Post, "My athletic husband stumbled. He was tired. He had a disease we’d never heard of.," 8 July 2018 Schwannomas arise from nerve cells called Schwann cells, which are part of the peripheral nervous system. Sandra G. Boodman, Washington Post, "At night she suffered through searing pain, by morning it mysteriously vanished," 26 May 2018 The annual American Psychiatric Association conference has started including presentations on nutrition and psychiatry, including one last year by chef David Bouley on foods that support the peripheral nervous system. Gerard Baker, WSJ, "The 10-Point.," 3 Apr. 2018 When a nerve agent shuts down this enzyme, classes of neurons throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems quickly get overstimulated, leading to profuse sweating, convulsions and an excruciating death by asphyxiation. Ian Haydon, Scientific American, "Enzymes versus Nerve Agents: Designing Antidotes for Chemical Weapons," 11 Apr. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'peripheral nervous system.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of peripheral nervous system

1846, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about peripheral nervous system

Time Traveler for peripheral nervous system

Time Traveler

The first known use of peripheral nervous system was in 1846

See more words from the same year

Statistics for peripheral nervous system

Cite this Entry

“Peripheral nervous system.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for peripheral nervous system

peripheral nervous system


Medical Definition of peripheral nervous system

: the part of the nervous system that is outside the central nervous system and comprises the cranial nerves excepting the optic nerve, the spinal nerves, and the autonomic nervous system

More from Merriam-Webster on peripheral nervous system

Britannica English: Translation of peripheral nervous system for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about peripheral nervous system

Comments on peripheral nervous system

What made you want to look up peripheral nervous system? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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