either one of the eleventh pair of cranial nerves, consisting of motor fibers from the spinal cord that innervate the pharyngeal, trapezius, and sternocleidomastoid muscles, and motor fibers from the brain that join the vagus to innervate the thoracic and abdominal viscera.
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Also called spinal accessory nerve.
Origin of accessory nerve
First recorded in 1835–45
Words nearby accessory nerve
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for accessory nerve
either one of the eleventh pair of cranial nerves, which supply the muscles of the head, shoulders, larynx, and pharynx and the viscera of the abdomen and thorax
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Medical definitions for accessory nerve
A nerve that arises by two sets of roots: the cranial set, arising from the side of the medulla, and the spinal set, arising from the ventrolateral part of the first five cervical segments of the spinal cord. These two roots form the accessory nerve trunk, which divides into two branches: the internal, which unites with the vagus nerve in the jugular foramen and supplies the muscles of the pharynx, larynx, and soft palate; and the external, which continues through the jugular foramen to supply the sternocleidomastoid and trapezius muscles.eleventh cranial nerve
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.