piloerection

noun
pi·​lo·​erec·​tion | \ ˌpī-lō-i-ˈrek-shən How to pronounce piloerection (audio) \

Definition of piloerection

: erection or bristling of hairs due to the involuntary contraction of small muscles at the base of hair follicles that occurs as a reflexive response of the sympathetic nervous system especially to cold, shock, or fright

Note: Piloerection may also occur as a side effect from the use of a sympathomimetic drug (such as phenylephrine) or as a symptom of opioid withdrawal.

First Known Use of piloerection

1930, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for piloerection

Latin pilus "hair" + -o- + erection

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Time Traveler for piloerection

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The first known use of piloerection was in 1930

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Cite this Entry

“Piloerection.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/piloerection. Accessed 12 December 2019.

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More Definitions for piloerection

piloerection

noun
pi·​lo·​erec·​tion | \ ˌpī-lō-i-ˈrek-shən How to pronounce piloerection (audio) \

Medical Definition of piloerection

: erection or bristling of hairs due to the involuntary contraction of small muscles at the base of hair follicles that occurs as a reflexive response of the sympathetic nervous system especially to cold, shock, or fright

Note: Piloerection may also occur as a side effect from the use of a sympathomimetic drug (as phenylephrine) or as a symptom of opioid withdrawal.

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