sympathetic nervous system

noun

Definition of sympathetic nervous system 

: the part of the autonomic nervous system that contains chiefly adrenergic fibers and tends to depress secretion, decrease the tone and contractility of smooth muscle, and increase heart rate — compare parasympathetic nervous system

Examples of sympathetic nervous system in a Sentence

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My whole goddamn sympathetic nervous system gets caught up in small town anxiety. Elisa Albert, Longreads, "O, Small-bany!," 7 May 2018 Every part of you, from your head to your stomach to your feet, has nerves to regulate important processes, which is why your sympathetic nervous system’s stress response can be so far-reaching. Brittany Risher, SELF, "This Is When to See a Mental Health Professional About Your Anxiety," 2 Feb. 2018 Sympathetic tone refers to the activation of the sympathetic nervous system, which also results in the constriction of blood vessels. Mark Lieber, CNN, "Brain effects of 'hottest pepper in the world' put man in hospital," 9 Apr. 2018 This produces a stress response in your body—specifically, your brain’s hypothalamus triggers your sympathetic nervous system to release norepinephrine (aka adrenaline) and cortisol (a stress hormone) to get you out of harm’s way. Brittany Risher, SELF, "This Is When to See a Mental Health Professional About Your Anxiety," 2 Feb. 2018 Your sympathetic nervous system, which causes blood vessels to narrow, is the source of this mechanism. Zahra Barnes, SELF, "Raynaud’s Disease: Why Your Hands and Feet Hurt So Badly When They’re Cold," 15 Dec. 2017 Most researchers agree that rest is a physiological state during which your innate fight-or-flight stress response, or sympathetic nervous system, subsides in favor of a more relaxed condition. Brad Stulberg, The Cut, "How to Actually Get Some Rest for Once," 4 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sympathetic nervous system.' 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 sympathetic nervous system

1850, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of sympathetic nervous system was in 1850

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More Definitions for sympathetic nervous system

sympathetic nervous system

noun

Medical Definition of sympathetic nervous system 

: the part of the autonomic nervous system that is concerned especially with preparing the body to react to situations of stress or emergency, that contains chiefly adrenergic fibers and tends to depress secretion, decrease the tone and contractility of smooth muscle, increase heart rate, and that consists essentially of preganglionic fibers arising in the thoracic and upper lumbar parts of the spinal cord and passing through delicate white rami communicantes to ganglia located in a pair of sympathetic chains situated one on each side of the spinal column or to more peripheral ganglia or ganglionated plexuses and postganglionic fibers passing typically through gray rami communicantes to spinal nerves with which they are distributed to various end organs

called also sympathetic system

— compare parasympathetic nervous system

More from Merriam-Webster on sympathetic nervous system

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about sympathetic nervous system

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