[ ef-er-uh nt ]
/ ˈɛf ər ənt /
Anatomy, Physiology


conveying or conducting away from an organ or part (opposed to afferent).


an efferent part, as a nerve or blood vessel.

Origin of efferent

1830–40; < Latin efferent- (stem of efferēns carrying off, present participle of efferre), equivalent to ef- ef- + ferent- carrying (fer- carry + -ent- -ent)

Related forms

ef·fer·ence, nounef·fer·ent·ly, adverb

Can be confused

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

British Dictionary definitions for efference


/ (ˈɛfərənt) /


carrying or conducting outwards from a part or an organ of the body, esp from the brain or spinal cordCompare afferent

Derived Forms

efference, nounefferently, adverb

Word Origin for efferent

C19: from Latin efferre to bear off, from ferre to bear
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 efference


[ ĕfər-ənt ]


Directed away from a central organ or section.


An efferent 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 efference


[ ĕfər-ənt ]

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