- any of the nerves arising from the brainstem and exiting to the periphery of the head through skull openings, including 10 pairs in fish and amphibians and 12 pairs in reptiles, birds, and mammals: in humans, these are the abducens nerve, accessory nerve, auditory nerve, facial nerve, glossopharyngeal nerve, hypoglossal nerve, oculomotor nerve, olfactory nerve, optic nerve, trigeminal nerve, trochlear nerve, and vagus nerve.
Origin of cranial nerve
First recorded in 1830–40
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- any of the 12 paired nerves that have their origin in the brain and reach the periphery through natural openings in the skull
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
- Any of 12 pairs of nerves that emerge from or enter the brain, comprising the olfactory (I), optic (II), oculomotor (III), trochlear (IV), trigeminal (V), abducent (VI), facial (VII), vestibulocochlear (VIII), glossopharyngeal (IX), vagus (X), accessory (XI), and hypoglossal (XII) nerves.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
- Any of the 12 pairs of nerves in humans and other mammals that connect the muscles and sensory organs of the head and upper chest directly to the brain through openings in the skull. The cranial nerves include the optic nerve and the auditory nerve.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.