Definition of olivary in US English:



  • Relating to or denoting each of the pair of oval bodies of nerve tissue on the medulla oblongata of the brain.

    • ‘Dorsolateral to the pyramidal tract, the medial accessory olivary nucleus, which is not present at lower levels, has just appeared.’
    • ‘At the medullary level, the medial lemniscus (which contains the 2nd neuron axons in the pathway for proprioceptive and tactile sensations) is found dorsal to the pyramidal tract and medial to the olivary nucleus.’
    • ‘In the medulla, note the elongated gray olivary nucleus, with its slit-like hilus, directed dorsomedially.’
    • ‘Dorsal to the olivary nuclei is the extensive reticular formation of the medulla, composed of diffusely disposed neurons interspersed by ascending and descending myelinated axons belonging to a variety of pathways.’
    • ‘More precisely, the signals from the two ears first converge in the superior olivary complex, located in the olivary body (two swellings on each side of the upper medulla oblongata where the spinal cord meets the brain).’


Late Middle English: from Latin olivarius ‘relating to olives’, from oliva (see olive).