Definition of innervate in US English:



[with object]Anatomy Zoology
  • Supply (an organ or other body part) with nerves.

    • ‘This diurnal variation in melatonin synthesis is brought about by norepinephrine secreted by the postganglionic sympathetic nerves that innervate the pineal gland.’
    • ‘Autonomic and somatic nerves innervate the penis.’
    • ‘The hypoglossal and glossopharyngeal nerves innervate pharyngeal dilator muscles.’
    • ‘The pudendal nerve innervates the few striated muscles within the prostatic capsule.’
    • ‘The greater superficial petrosal nerve carries the preganglionic parasympathetic fibres from the facial nerve to eventually innervate the lacrimal glands.’


Late 19th century: from in- ‘into’ + nerve + -ate.