vagus nerve

va·​gus nerve | \ ˈvā-gəs- How to pronounce vagus nerve (audio) \

Definition of vagus nerve

: either of the 10th pair of cranial nerves that arise from the medulla oblongata and supply chiefly the viscera especially with autonomic sensory and motor fibers

called also vagus

Examples of vagus nerve in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The vagus nerve, in turn, uses those signals to slow down the nervous system, lowering heart rate and blood pressure and curbing the activity of the stress hormone cortisol, an immune-system suppressant. Cari Romm, The Cut, "The Lasting Damage of Depriving a Child of Human Touch," 20 June 2018 And the practice stimulates the vagus nerve, which helps regulate mood. Sarah Richards, Woman's Day, "Quiet Your Mind in Anxious Times With These Expert Tricks," 14 Aug. 2018 Along with a heavy drug combination, William got a vagus nerve stimulator, an implant that sends electrical signals to the brain. Anne Saker,, "Cincinnati tested the marijuana drug that the FDA has just approved," 27 June 2018 Treatment for epilepsy is usually tailored to each individual patient and may include medication, surgery, stimulation of the vagus nerve, and changes in nutrition. Korin Miller, SELF, "Why Movie Theaters Are Posting Warnings About All of the Strobe Lights in 'Incredibles 2'," 22 June 2018 Here’s how the calming power of touch works on a physiological level: Touch stimulates pressure receptors under the skin that carry signals to the vagus nerve, which connects the brain to the rest of the body. Cari Romm, The Cut, "The Lasting Damage of Depriving a Child of Human Touch," 20 June 2018 For example, being able to work with nerves in the bladder or the pancreas or vagus nerve could have a lot of interesting therapeutic benefits — almost like acupuncture. Angela Chen, The Verge, "Why it’s so hard to develop the right material for brain implants," 30 May 2018 Some studies propose that aggregates of alpha synuclein move from the intestines to the brain through the vagus nerve. Diana Kwon, Scientific American, "Does Parkinson’s Begin in the Gut?," 8 May 2018 For example, people with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes might experience damage to their vagus nerves, which can influence how well their bodies regulate hiccups. Claire Gillespie, SELF, "Here's What Hiccups Actually Are—and How to Get Rid of Them," 4 May 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of vagus nerve

1856, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for vagus nerve

borrowed from New Latin vagus nervus, literally, "wandering nerve,"; so called from its multiplicity of connecting points in the neck, thorax, and abdomen — more at vague

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about vagus nerve

Dictionary Entries near vagus nerve


vague year


vagus nerve




Statistics for vagus nerve

Last Updated

13 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for vagus nerve

The first known use of vagus nerve was in 1856

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for vagus nerve

vagus nerve


Medical Definition of vagus nerve

: either of the tenth pair of cranial nerves that arise from the medulla and supply chiefly the viscera especially with autonomic sensory and motor fibers

called also pneumogastric nerve, tenth cranial nerve, vagus

More from Merriam-Webster on vagus nerve

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with vagus nerve Encyclopedia article about vagus nerve

Comments on vagus nerve

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


showing courage and determination

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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