Definition of brainstem in US English:


(also brain stem)


  • The central trunk of the mammalian brain, consisting of the medulla oblongata, pons, and midbrain, and continuing downward to form the spinal cord.

    • ‘Nearly all cases of PML involve the cerebral white matter, but it may also involve white matter of cerebellum, brainstem and spinal cord.’
    • ‘The brainstem consists of the midbrain, pons and medulla, structures located deep in the back of the brain.’
    • ‘The twentieth century opened with knowledge that the brainstem (pons and medulla) generates regular breathing.’
    • ‘Following replication, the virus enters axons and is transported in a retrograde manner to involve the spinal cord and eventually the brainstem, cerebellum, and cortex.’
    • ‘Some afferent fibres from the epiglottis, palate and pharynx also reach the brainstem via the vagus nerve.’