[ af-er-uh nt ]
/ ˈæf ər ənt /


bringing to or leading toward an organ or part, as a nerve or arteriole (opposed to efferent).


a nerve carrying a message toward the central nervous system.

Origin of afferent

1830–40; < Latin afferent- (stem of afferēns, present participle of afferre), equivalent to af- af- + fer- (stem of ferre to carry) + -ent- -ent

Related forms

af·fer·ent·ly, adverb

Can be confused

afferent efferent Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for afferent

British Dictionary definitions for afferent


/ (ˈæfərənt) /


bringing or directing inwards to a part or an organ of the body, esp towards the brain or spinal cordCompare efferent

Word Origin for afferent

C19: from Latin afferre to carry to, from ad- to + ferre to carry
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

Medicine definitions for afferent


[ ăfər-ənt ]


Carrying inward to a central organ or section, as nerves that conduct impulses from the periphery of the body to the brain or spinal cord.


An afferent organ or body part, such as a blood vessel.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for afferent


[ ăfər-ənt ]

Carrying sensory information toward a central organ or part, as a nerve that conducts impulses from the periphery of the body to the central nervous system. Compare efferent.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.