spinal cord

noun

Definition of 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

Since her diagnosis, the actress has been open about her condition and its effect on the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. Ariel Henley, Allure, "How Fashion Lets Me Embrace the Physical Differences Caused by Crouzon Syndrome," 12 Mar. 2019 In any case, the narrowing that occurs puts extra pressure on the bundle of nerves that travel through your spine (the spinal cord) and may cause pain, the Mayo Clinic explains. Korin Miller, SELF, "New York Mets Player David Wright Announced He's Retiring Due to Spinal Stenosis," 4 Oct. 2018 The condition affects the area in the spinal cord called the gray matter and weakens muscles and reflexes. Erik Lacitis, The Seattle Times, "Mysterious paralyzing illness leaves Washington families reeling," 19 Oct. 2018 Like Mzee, Marquis received a spinal cord implant as part of a research study. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "Spinal implants help treat paralysis but aren’t ready for primetime," 3 Nov. 2018 The researchers had to adjust the details for each of the three patients in the study, adapting to the individual measurements of each person’s spinal cord. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "Spinal-cord stimulation allows three paralyzed men to walk with assistance," 31 Oct. 2018 And then: On a climb in California, one of Anikeeva’s friends fell fifty-two feet and severed her lower spinal cord. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "The Heroes of Science Who Are Unlocking the Brain," 3 Oct. 2018 The skewer had completely missed Xavier's eye, brain, spinal cord and major blood vessels, The Kansas City Star reports. Fox News, "'Miraculous': Boy survives after meat skewer pierces skull," 12 Sep. 2018 Already, Anikeeva’s colleagues at the University of Washington are testing them on mouse models of spinal cord injury. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "The Heroes of Science Who Are Unlocking the Brain," 3 Oct. 2018

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

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First Known Use of spinal cord

1834, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

7 Apr 2019

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The first known use of spinal cord was in 1834

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More Definitions for spinal cord

spinal cord

noun

English Language Learners Definition of spinal cord

: the large group of nerves which runs through the center of the spine and carries messages between the brain and the rest of the body

spinal cord

noun

Kids Definition of spinal cord

: a thick bundle of nerves that extends from the brain down through the cavity of the backbone and connects with nerves throughout the body to carry information to and from the brain

spinal cord

noun

Medical Definition of 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 vertebral 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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More from Merriam-Webster on spinal cord

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with spinal cord

Spanish Central: Translation of spinal cord

Nglish: Translation of spinal cord for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spinal cord for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about spinal cord

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