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parasympathetic nervous system

[ păr′ə-sĭm′pə-thĕtĭk ]
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The part of the autonomic nervous system that tends to act in opposition to the sympathetic nervous system, as by slowing down the heartbeat and dilating the blood vessels. It regulates the function of many glands, such as those that produce tears and saliva, and stimulates motility and secretions of the digestive system. Compare sympathetic nervous system.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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