Definition of nerve ending in English:

nerve ending

(also nerve end)


  • 1One of the fine branches at the end of a neuron, by which it makes contact either with another neuron or with a muscle or gland cell.

    ‘a disease which affects the nerve endings in the spinal column’
    • ‘This protein stimulates nerve endings at an injury site and within the spinal cord, increasing pain messages.’
    • ‘Fish have many nerve endings along their bodies for smell, vibrations, water temperature etc.’
    • ‘When the bladder is full, nerve endings in its wall send impulses to the brain.’
    • ‘Procaine and steroids can inhibit the excitement of nerve endings.’
    • ‘Nerve endings in our limbs and in the bottoms of our feet indicate current body position.’
    • ‘There are many nerve endings or ganglia near the body surface which can be stimulated to influence some physiological functions.’
    • ‘The foot has many thousands of nerve endings which are stimulated during a massage.’
    • ‘Signals from nerve endings in the mouth evoke salivation by exciting the salivatory centres in the brainstem.’
    • ‘She had lost feeling in her legs due to an infection that damaged her nerve endings.’
    • ‘Sweat glands are activated by nerve endings in the dermal layer of the skin that respond to chemical messages from the brain.’
    • ‘If you measured a square inch of your skin, that square inch would contain millions of cells and many specialized nerve endings for sensing heat, cold, pain, pressure and touch.’
    1. 1.1 Used in reference to a state of heightened sensitivity.
      ‘every nerve ending in my leg screamed’
      ‘a performance like yesterday's starts the nerve ends jangling once more’
      • ‘The misspelt sign grates on your nerve endings every single time you walk past it, doesn't it?’
      • ‘Every nerve-end in my body is tingling with the anticipation of a storm.’
      • ‘"Local taxation makes politicians uneasy, it creates a fear factor that tingles their nerve ends," said a leading academic expert.’
      • ‘It will be an evening when the nerve ends will tingle as though electrified.’
      • ‘This song sucks so hard I feel my soul being torn from the mass of nerve endings at the base of my spine.’
      • ‘"It gives off a yellowish colour and because it has a constant flicker it causes nerve endings to be continually on edge," he said.’
      • ‘Rowley sniffed, every nerve ending quivering.’
      • ‘If nerve endings in Downing Street were that raw during two elections that were a bit of a cruise, consider how frazzled they are getting about this much bumpier contest.’
      • ‘Every nerve ending in his body seemed to be on edge—so much so that he startled when his foot landed on the creaky stair.’
      • ‘What really sets the nerve endings crackling is the snow.’