white matter

noun

: neural tissue especially of the brain and spinal cord that consists largely of myelinated nerve fibers bundled into tracts, has a whitish color, and typically underlies the cortical gray matter

Examples of white matter in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web While some researchers have detected structural white matter changes in the brain, Gore said the method is not yet legitimate or reliable in a clinical setting. Melissa Chan, NBC News, 17 Mar. 2024 Analyzing the scans, researchers noticed that the participants with PCOS had significantly reduced integrity of the white matter in their brains. Julia Daye, Miami Herald, 2 Feb. 2024 The authors also found, via brain scans, that compared with those without PCOS, 25 people with the condition had white matter in poorer condition, which can be an indicator of brain aging. Kristen Rogers, CNN, 31 Jan. 2024 While some of the people in the juggling group got better at the skill than others, everyone in the group showed changes in their white matter as a result of learning the new skill. Didi Gluck, Vogue, 7 Dec. 2023 Doctors believe his death may have been caused by a disorder of the white matter in his central nervous system, but the case remains a medical mystery. Timothy Bella, Washington Post, 9 Nov. 2023 The 65-year-old man suffered several strokes, including four in a five-day stretch, as the white matter in his brain inexplicably aged decades in a matter of weeks. Timothy Bella, Washington Post, 9 Nov. 2023 Meanwhile, the scanner is taking slices — noisy, virtual slices — of my gray and white matter. Jeff Wheelwright, Discover Magazine, 3 Jan. 2019 Through abstinence, however, studies have shown that a regeneration of brain function, metabolism and brain volume (including white matter) is possible. Alexandra Becker, Discover Magazine, 4 Oct. 2022

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

1674, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of white matter was in 1674

Dictionary Entries Near white matter

Cite this Entry

“White matter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/white%20matter. Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

white matter

noun
: whitish nerve tissue especially of the brain and spinal cord that consists largely of nerve fibers enclosed in a fatty material and that lies under the gray matter

Medical Definition

white matter

noun
: neural tissue especially of the brain and spinal cord that consists largely of myelinated nerve fibers bundled into tracts, has a whitish color, and typically underlies the gray matter

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