phren·​ic | \ ˈfre-nik How to pronounce phrenic (audio) \

Definition of phrenic

1 : of or relating to the diaphragm
2 : of or relating to the mind

Examples of phrenic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web There are few concrete medical cures for the hiccups, but experts know that stopping them ideally involves the diaphragm, the vagus nerve and the phrenic nerve. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, 4 Mar. 2022 In general, things that irritate the diaphragm or the nerves that connect to the diaphragm (called the phrenic and vagus nerves), can lead to hiccups. Jessica Migala,, 16 Nov. 2021 The phrenic nerve controls the diaphragm, while the vagus nerve helps control the lungs and other internal organs. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 30 June 2021 All of that effort distracts the nerves that are responsible for the diaphragm and epiglottis, called the phrenic and vagus nerves. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, 21 June 2021 For severe cases, your doctor might even try injecting an anesthetic to influence how your phrenic nerve behaves. Claire Gillespie, SELF, 4 May 2018 Those include drugs that target serotonin receptors and a device that electrically stimulates the phrenic nerve to force diaphragm movement and maintain breathing. Max Blau, STAT, 10 Apr. 2018 See More

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

First Known Use of phrenic

1685, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for phrenic

borrowed from new Latin phrenicus, from Late Latin phren-, phrēn "midriff, diaphragm, mind" (usually in plural phrenes) (borrowed from Greek phren-, phrḗn) + Latin -icus -ic entry 1 — more at frenetic

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The first known use of phrenic was in 1685

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Cite this Entry

“Phrenic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for phrenic


phren·​ic | \ ˈfren-ik How to pronounce phrenic (audio) \

Medical Definition of phrenic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of or relating to the diaphragm



Medical Definition of phrenic (Entry 2 of 2)


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