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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
spinal cord
▪ For example, it is absent in such diverse conditions as constipation, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and thoracic spinal cord injuries.
▪ In the same way, nerve cells in the spinal cord show activity whenever a particular movement is made by the arm.
▪ Indeed, all of the brain and spinal cord.
▪ Invasion of the spinal cord causes paralysis of the arms and legs or of the trunk.
▪ It broke my ribs, collapsed a lung and broke my spinal cord.
▪ Striking the side or back of the neck can damage the spine or the spinal cord itself, sometimes permanently.
▪ The ball had entered his body in front and passed out near the spinal cord, paralyzing him in legs and arms.
▪ They receive messages from virtually every nerve in the human body via connections with the optic nerve and spinal cord.
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Spinal cord

Spinal \Spi"nal\, a. [L. spinalis, fr. spina the spine: cf. F. spinal. See Spine.]

  1. (Anat.) Of, pertaining to, or in the region of, the backbone, or vertebral column; rachidian; vertebral.

  2. Of or pertaining to a spine or spines.

    Spinal accessory nerves, the eleventh pair of cranial nerves in the higher vertebrates. They originate from the spinal cord and pass forward into the skull, from which they emerge in company with the pneumogastrics.

    Spinal column, the backbone, or connected series or vertebr[ae] which forms the axis of the vertebrate skeleton; the spine; rachis; vertebral column.

    Spinal cord, the great nervous cord extending backward from the brain along the dorsal side of the spinal column of a vertebrate animal, and usually terminating in a threadlike appendage called the filum terminale; the spinal, or vertebral, marrow; the myelon. The nervous tissue consists of nerve fibers and nerve cells, the latter being confined to the so-called gray matter of the central portions of the cord, while the peripheral white matter is composed of nerve fibers only. The center of the cord is traversed by a slender canal connecting with the ventricles of the brain.

spinal cord

n. (context anatomy English) A thick, whitish cord of nerve tissue which is a major part of the vertebrate central nervous system. It extends from the brain stem down through the spine, with nerves branching off to various parts of the body.

spinal cord

n. a major part of the central nervous system which conducts sensory and motor nerve impulses to and from the brain; a long tube-like structure extending from the base of the brain through the vertebral canal to the upper lumbar region [syn: medulla spinalis]

Spinal cord

The spinal cord is a long, thin, tubular bundle of nervous tissue and support cells that extends from the medulla oblongata in the brainstem to the lumbar region of the vertebral column. The brain and spinal cord together make up the central nervous system (CNS). The spinal cord begins at the occipital bone and extends down to the space between the first and second lumbar vertebrae; it does not extend the entire length of the vertebral column. It is around in men and around long in women. Also, the spinal cord has a varying width, ranging from thick in the cervical and lumbar regions to thick in the thoracic area. The enclosing bony vertebral column protects the relatively shorter spinal cord. The spinal cord functions primarily in the transmission of neural signals between the brain and the rest of the body but also contains neural circuits that can independently control numerous reflexes and central pattern generators. The spinal cord has three major functions: as a conduit for motor information, which travels down the spinal cord, as a conduit for sensory information in the reverse direction, and finally as a center for coordinating certain reflexes.