spinal cord


: the cord of nervous tissue that extends from the brain lengthwise along the back in the spinal canal, gives off the pairs of spinal nerves, carries impulses to and from the brain, and serves as a center for initiating and coordinating many reflex acts see brain illustration

Examples of spinal cord in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Those with quadriplegia due to cervical spinal cord injury or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) may qualify for the six-year-long study – 18 months of at-home and clinic visits followed by follow-up visits over five years. Jennifer Korn, CNN, 20 Sep. 2023 To perform an epidural, an anesthesiologist places a needle into the space surrounding the spinal cord and then inserts a small tube through the needle. Kristi Pahr, Parents, 8 Sep. 2023 Cronobacter germs can cause sepsis, a dangerous blood infection, and meningitis, a swelling of the linings surrounding the brain and spinal cord. James M. O'Neill, USA TODAY, 2 Sep. 2023 That interiority, the inner narratives of Black girls and Black women is the spinal cord, the heart, the rib cage of my work. Kaitlyn Greenidge, Harper's BAZAAR, 24 Aug. 2023 Now Nagy urges other spinal cord injury patients to take this opportunity to gain some freedom from ventilators. Julie Washington, cleveland, 25 July 2023 The products can be used to treat a wide range of conditions, including chronic pain, weight loss and nausea from cancer, depression, panic disorder, epilepsy, muscle spasms caused by disease or spinal cord injuries, PTSD, and others. Mike Cason | McAson@al.com, al, 6 Sep. 2023 The facility will provide inpatient care for stroke recovery, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury and other conditions. Detroit Free Press, 6 Sep. 2023 In contrast, the muscles controlling our hand movements, like most other muscles in our body, receive instructions from nerves that reach out from our spinal cord, threading their way between our vertebrae. R. Douglas Fields, Quanta Magazine, 28 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'spinal cord.' 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

1834, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of spinal cord was in 1834

Dictionary Entries Near spinal cord

Cite this Entry

“Spinal cord.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spinal%20cord. Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition

spinal cord

: the cord of nervous tissue that extends from the brain along the back in the cavity of the backbone, branches to form the spinal nerves, carries nerve impulses to and from the brain, and helps to control reflex actions

Medical Definition

spinal cord

: the thick longitudinal cord of nervous tissue that in vertebrates extends along the back dorsal to the bodies of the vertebrae and is enclosed in the spinal canal formed by their neural arches, is continuous anteriorly with the medulla oblongata, gives off at intervals pairs of spinal nerves to the various parts of the trunk and limbs, serves not only as a pathway for nerve impulses to and from the brain but as a center for carrying out and coordinating many reflex actions independently of the brain, and is composed largely of white matter arranged in columns and tracts of longitudinal fibers about a large central core of gray matter somewhat H-shaped in cross section and pierced centrally by a small longitudinal canal continuous with the ventricles of the brain

called also medulla spinalis

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