The protective membranes that surround your brain and spinal cord are called meninges. Your meninges do an important job — helping to keep your nervous system safe from harm.

The illness known as meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges that's caused by a viral or bacterial infection. This condition can be serious because of how close the brain is to the meninges and how vital they are for protecting it. The Greek root, meninx, means "membrane."

Definitions of meninges
  1. noun
    a membrane (one of 3) that envelops the brain and spinal cord
    synonyms: meninx
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    the two innermost layers of the meninges; cerebrospinal fluid circulates between these innermost layers
    dura, dura mater
    the outermost (and toughest) of the 3 meninges
    arachnoid, arachnoid membrane
    the middle of the 3 meninges
    pia mater
    the highly vascular innermost of the 3 meninges
    type of:
    membrane, tissue layer
    a pliable sheet of tissue that covers or lines or connects the organs or cells of animals or plants
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