[ef-er-uh nt]Anatomy, Physiology
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  1. 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 formsef·fer·ence, nounef·fer·ent·ly, adverb
Can be confusedafferent efferent
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for efferent


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

Word Origin and History for efferent

1827, from Latin efferentem (nominative efferens), present participle of effere "to carry out or away, bring forth," from ef- (see ex-) + ferre "to bear, carry" (see infer).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

efferent in Medicine


  1. Directed away from a central organ or section.
  1. 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.

efferent in Science


  1. 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.