trigeminal nerve


: either of a pair of large mixed nerves that are the fifth cranial nerves and supply motor and sensory fibers mostly to the face

called also trigeminal

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Amy Tomasulo was diagnosed in 2001 with trigeminal neuralgia, intense pain caused by irritation of the trigeminal nerve in the head, one of 12 pairs of nerves attached to the brain. Darcel Rockett, Chicago Tribune, 29 Oct. 2022 Brooks’ team harnessed the trigeminal nerve to create temperature illusions in VR. Wired, 2 Aug. 2022 Trigeminal neuralgia is a type of nerve pain that affects the trigeminal nerve, which is responsible for facial sensation and movement. The Salt Lake Tribune, 24 May 2022 In early 2020, Hines was also diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia, which is an extremely intense pain in the trigeminal nerve on the side of the face. Amy Marturana Winderl, SELF, 18 Mar. 2022 Trigeminal neuralgia is a pain syndrome involving the trigeminal nerve, which provides the sensation to the face in three bands, called divisions of the nerve: the eye and scalp, upper jaw and nose, and lower jaw and ear. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 16 Aug. 2021 Researchers have targeted the vagus nerve, which runs from the neck to the abdomen and helps control mood, immune responses, digestion and heart rate, and the trigeminal nerve, which transmits sensory information to the face and jaw. Robert Lee Hotz, WSJ, 13 Aug. 2021 Mint, for example, stimulates the trigeminal nerve. Dr. Samuel Rothman, ABC News, 10 Apr. 2021 These can include stimulating saliva with umami flavor and stimulating the trigeminal nerve, which amongst other roles, regulates spicy-food sensations like stinging, cooling or even burning. Dr. Samuel Rothman, ABC News, 10 Apr. 2021 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1830, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of trigeminal nerve was in 1830

Dictionary Entries Near trigeminal nerve

Cite this Entry

“Trigeminal nerve.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.

Medical Definition

trigeminal nerve


: either of the fifth pair of cranial nerves that are mixed nerves and in humans are the largest of the cranial nerves and that arise by a small motor root and a larger sensory root which both emerge from the side of the pons with the sensory root bearing the trigeminal ganglion and dividing into ophthalmic, maxillary, and mandibular nerves and the motor root supplying fibers to the mandibular nerve and through this to the muscles of mastication

called also fifth cranial nerve, trifacial nerve, trigeminus

More from Merriam-Webster on trigeminal nerve

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