sciatic nerve

noun Anatomy.
either of a pair of nerves, the largest in the body, that originate in the sacral plexus of the lower back and extend down the buttocks to the back of the knees, where they divide into other nerves: the sciatic nerve and its branches innervate large areas of the pelvis, leg, and foot.

Origin:
1735–45

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

sciatic nerve n.
A nerve that arises from the sacral plexus and passes through the greater sciatic foramen to about the middle of the thigh where it divides into the common peroneal and tibial nerves.

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
sciatic nerve   (sī-āt'ĭk)  Pronunciation Key 
A thick nerve that arises in the lower part of the spine and passes through the pelvis on its way to the back of the leg. It carries sensory information from the leg to the central nervous system and controls the action of many muscles. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

sciatic nerve

largest and thickest nerve of the human body that is the principal continuation of all the roots of the sacral plexus. It emerges from the spinal cord in the lumbar portion of the spine and runs down through the buttocks and the back of the thigh; above the back of the knee it divides into the tibial and the common peroneal nerve, both of which serve the lower leg and foot

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
It is caused by injury to or pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Some cases of sciatica pain may occur when a muscle located deep in the buttocks pinches the sciatic nerve.
The peroneal nerve is a branch of the sciatic nerve, which supplies movement and sensation to the lower leg, foot and toes.
It occurs when there is damage to the tibial nerve, one of the lower branches of the sciatic nerve of the leg.
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