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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about piloerection

Time Traveler for piloerection

Time Traveler

The first known use of piloerection was in 1930

See more words from the same year

Statistics for piloerection

Cite this Entry

“Piloerection.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/piloerection. Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Comments on piloerection

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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