autonomic nervous system

noun
the system of nerves and ganglia that innervates the blood vessels, heart, smooth muscles, viscera, and glands and controls their involuntary functions, consisting of sympathetic and parasympathetic portions.

Origin:
1895–1900

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World English Dictionary
autonomic nervous system
 
n
Compare somatic nervous system the section of the nervous system of vertebrates that controls the involuntary actions of the smooth muscles, heart, and glands. It has two divisions: the sympathetic and the parasympathetic

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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

autonomic nervous system n.
The part of the nervous system that regulates involuntary action, as of the intestines, smooth muscle, heart, and glands, and that is divided into two physiologically and anatomically distinct, mutually antagonistic systems, the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
autonomic nervous system   (ô'tə-nŏm'ĭk)  Pronunciation Key 
The part of the vertebrate nervous system that regulates involuntary activity in the body by transmitting motor impulses to cardiac muscle, smooth muscle, and the glands. The muscular activity of the heart and of the circulatory, digestive, respiratory, and urogenital systems is controlled by the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is divided into two parts: the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system.
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Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
autonomic nervous system [(aw-tuh-nom-ik)]

The part of the nervous system that controls involuntary functions of the body (those not controlled consciously), such as digestion, the beating of the heart, and the operation of glands in the endocrine system.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Sweating is controlled by the autonomic nervous system, the part of the nervous system that is not under your control.
Fortunately this is not necessary due to the autonomic nervous system.
Mind can be defined as the function of autonomic nervous system.
My gut feeling is that chronic pain, is an autonomic nervous system learned response.
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