[ih-nur-veyt, in-er-veyt]

verb (used with object), in·ner·vat·ed, in·ner·vat·ing.

to communicate nervous energy to; stimulate through nerves.
to furnish with nerves; grow nerves into.

Origin of innervate

First recorded in 1865–70; in-2 + nerve + -ate1
Can be confusedenergize enervate innervate invigorate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for innervate

Historical Examples of innervate

British Dictionary definitions for innervate


verb (tr)

to supply nerves to (a bodily organ or part)
to stimulate (a bodily organ or part) with nerve impulses
Derived Formsinnervation, noun
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 innervate

1870, from in- (2) "in" + Latin nervus (see nerve) + -ate. Probably rather a back-formation from innervation (1832). Related: Innervated. Innervation in psychology is from 1880.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

innervate in Medicine


[ĭ-nûrvāt′, ĭnər-]


To supply an organ or a body part with nerves.
To stimulate a nerve, muscle, or body part to action.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.