A nerve is a group of fibers that send sensation or physical feeling to the brain. Back pain can sometimes be caused by a damaged or pinched nerve.

Your body depends on your nerves for sensing pain, heat, and cold — not to mention making it possible for you to move your muscles. You can also use the word nerve to mean bravery or daring: "She didn't know if she'd have the nerve to skydive when she was finally up in the plane." In the 1500s, to nerve was "to ornament with threads." All of these come from a Latin root, nervus, "sinew, tendon, cord, or bowstring."

Primary Meanings of nerve

any bundle of nerve fibers running to various organs and tissues of the body
the courage to carry on
get ready for something difficult or unpleasant
Full Definitions of nerve

n any bundle of nerve fibers running to various organs and tissues of the body

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efferent, efferent nerve, motor nerve
a nerve that conveys impulses toward or to muscles or glands
afferent, afferent nerve, sensory nerve
a nerve that passes impulses from receptors toward or to the central nervous system
cranial nerve
any of the 12 paired nerves that originate in the brain stem
depressor, depressor nerve
any nerve whose activity tends to reduce the activity or tone of the body part it serves
musculospiral nerve, nervus radialis, radial nerve
largest branch of the brachial plexus; extends down the humerus to the lateral epicondyle where it divides into one branch that goes to the skin on the back of the hand and another that goes to the underlying extensor muscles
splanchnic nerve
any of several nerves of the sympathetic part of the autonomic nervous system that innervate viscera and blood vessels
nervus ischiadicus, sciatic nerve
arises from the sacral plexus and passes about halfway down the thigh where it divides into the common peroneal and tibial nerves
nervus saphenus, saphenous nerve
a branch of the femoral nerve that supplies cutaneous branches to the inner aspect of the leg and foot
cubital nerve, nervus ulnaris, ulnar nerve
a nerve running along the inner side of the arm and passing near the elbow; supplies intrinsic muscles of the hand and the skin of the medial side of the hand
nervus spinalis, spinal nerve
any of the 31 pairs of nerves emerging from each side of the spinal cord (each attached to the cord by two roots: ventral and dorsal)
dorsal horn, dorsal root
one of the two roots of a spinal nerve that passes dorsally to the spinal cord and that consists of sensory fibers
anterior horn, anterior root, ventral horn, ventral root
one of two the two roots of a spinal nerve that passes ventrally from the spinal cord and that consists of motor fibers
fillet, lemniscus
a bundle of sensory nerve fibers going to the thalamus
first cranial nerve, nervii olfactorii, olfactory nerve
a collective term for numerous olfactory filaments in the nasal mucosa
nervus opticus, optic nerve, optic tract, second cranial nerve
the cranial nerve that serves the retina
nervus oculomotorius, oculomotor, oculomotor nerve, third cranial nerve
supplies extrinsic muscles of the eye
fourth cranial nerve, trochlear, trochlear nerve, trochlearis
either of the two cranial nerves on either side that control the superior oblique muscles of the eyes
fifth cranial nerve, nervus trigeminus, trigeminal, trigeminal nerve, trigeminus
the main sensory nerve of the face and motor nerve for the muscles of mastication
abducens, abducens nerve, abducent, abducent nerve, nervus abducens, sixth cranial nerve
a small motor nerve supplying the lateral rectus muscle of the eye
facial, facial nerve, nervus facialis, seventh cranial nerve
cranial nerve that supplies facial muscles
acoustic nerve, auditory nerve, eighth cranial nerve, nervus vestibulocochlearis, vestibulocochlear nerve
a composite sensory nerve supplying the hair cells of the vestibular organ and the hair cells of the cochlea
glossopharyngeal nerve, nervus glossopharyngeus, ninth cranial nerve
sensory nerve to the pharynx and back of the tongue; motor fibers innervate muscles that elevate the pharynx and larynx; includes parasympathetic fibers to the otic ganglion
nervus vagus, pneumogastric, pneumogastric nerve, tenth cranial nerve, vagus, vagus nerve, wandering nerve
a mixed nerve that supplies the pharynx and larynx and lungs and heart and esophagus and stomach and most of the abdominal viscera
accessory nerve, eleventh cranial nerve, nervus accessorius, spinal accessory
arises from two sets of roots (cranial and spinal) that unite to form the nerve
hypoglossal, hypoglossal nerve, nervus hypoglosus, twelfth cranial nerve
supplies intrinsic muscles of the tongue and other tongue muscles
corticospinal tract, pyramidal motor system, pyramidal tract
any of the important motor nerves on each side of the central nervous system that run from the sensorimotor areas of the cortex through the brainstem to motor neurons of the cranial nerve nuclei and the ventral root of the spinal cord
anterior crural nerve, femoral nerve, nervus femoralis
one of a pair of nerves that originate from lumbar nerves and supply the muscles and skin of the anterior part of the thigh
nervus phrenicus, phrenic nerve
one of a pair of nerves that arises from cervical spinal roots and passes down the thorax to innervate the diaphragm and control breathing
cervical nerve
any of eight pairs of spinal nerves emerging from the cervical section of the spinal cord
coccygeal nerve, nervus coccygeus
the lowest pair of spinal nerves
lumbar nerve
any of five pairs of spinal nerves emerging from the lumbar section of the spinal cord
sacral nerve
any of five pairs of spinal nerves emerging from the sacral region of the spinal cord
thoracic nerve
any of twelve pairs of spinal nerves emerging from the thoracic region of the spinal cord
crazy bone, funny bone
a point on the elbow where the ulnar nerve passes near the surface; a sharp tingling sensation results when the nerve is knocked against the bone
Type of:
fascicle, fasciculus, fiber bundle, fibre bundle
a bundle of fibers (especially nerve fibers)

n the courage to carry on

heart, mettle, spunk
Type of:
braveness, bravery, courage, courageousness
a quality of spirit that enables you to face danger or pain without showing fear

n impudent aggressiveness

boldness, brass, cheek, face
audaciousness, audacity
aggressive boldness or unmitigated effrontery
assumption, effrontery, presumption, presumptuousness
audacious (even arrogant) behavior that you have no right to
Type of:
the quality of being bold and enterprising

v get ready for something difficult or unpleasant

Type of:
brace, poise
prepare (oneself) for something unpleasant or difficult

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