[ par-uh-sim-puh-thet-ik ]

adjectiveAnatomy, Physiology,
  1. pertaining to that part of the autonomic nervous system consisting of nerves and ganglia that arise from the cranial and sacral regions and function in opposition to the sympathetic system, as in inhibiting heartbeat or contracting the pupil of the eye.

Origin of parasympathetic

First recorded in 1900–05; para-1 + sympathetic

Words Nearby parasympathetic Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use parasympathetic in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for parasympathetic


/ (ˌpærəˌsɪmpəˈθɛtɪk) /

  1. anatomy physiol of or relating to the division of the autonomic nervous system that acts in opposition to the sympathetic system by slowing the heartbeat, constricting the bronchi of the lungs, stimulating the smooth muscles of the digestive tract, etc: Compare sympathetic (def. 4)

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