from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Directed away from a central organ or section.
  • adjective Carrying impulses from the central nervous system to an effector.
  • noun An efferent organ or body part, such as a blood vessel.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Conveying outward or away; deferent: as, the efferent nerves, which convey a nervous impulse from the ganglionic center outward to the muscles or other active tissue.
  • noun In anatomy and physiology, a vessel or nerve which conveys outward.
  • noun A river flowing from and bearing away the waters of a lake.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Conveying outward, or discharging; -- applied to certain blood vessels, lymphatics, nerves, etc.
  • adjective Conveyed outward; ; -- opposed to afferent.
  • noun An efferent duct or stream.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Carrying away from.
  • noun A duct or stream that carries away.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a nerve that conveys impulses toward or to muscles or glands
  • adjective of nerves and nerve impulses; conveying information away from the CNS


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[From Latin efferēns, efferent-, present participle of efferre, to carry off : ex-, ex- + ferre, to carry; see bher- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin efferēns, present active participle of efferō ("bring or carry out"), from ē ("out of"), short form of ex, + ferō ("carry, bear").


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  • The fibres which come ultimately from the ventral aspect of the spinal marrow, are those which carry an influence outwards, and produce a contraction in the muscles, and are therefore called efferent or motor.

    The Common Frog

  • Whatever the specifics, they wrote, the important thing is that the stimulation affected only “a few cubic millimeters of neural tissue,” which means that “the depression probably resulted from the stimulation of afferent, efferent, or passing fibers within the substantia nigra or from the inhibition of those fibers.”


  • The PNS contains two forms of nerves: afferent nerves, which relay sensory information to the CNS, and efferent nerves, which relay motor commands from the CNS to various muscles and glands.


  • The second efferent system is the autonomic nervous system, which carries motor information to smooth muscles, cardiac muscle, and various glands.


  • Her stances were aesthetic and efferent, the former being reading for emotional/artistic reasons and the latter for informational reasons.

    While Cathy Adores the Minuet

  • Motor neurons make up the efferent neurons of both the somatic and autonomic nervous systems.


  • Human gustatory representations are points in a four-dimensional state space, with each dimension coding for activity rates generated by gustatory stimuli in each type of taste receptor (sweet, salty, sour, bitter) and their segregated efferent pathways.

    The Philosophy of Neuroscience

  • Each dimension corresponds to activity rates in one of three classes of photoreceptors present in the human retina and their efferent paths: the red-green opponent pathway, yellow-blue opponent pathway, and black-white (contrast) opponent pathway.

    The Philosophy of Neuroscience

  • Another thought experiment (Kirk 1974b) involves a team of micro-Lilliputians who invade Gulliver™s head, disconnect his afferent and efferent nerves, monitor the inputs from his afferent nerves, and send outputs down his efferent nerves to produce behavior indistinguishable from what it would have been originally.


  • The boat's central director-essentially a computer whose input came from the instruments and whose efferent impulses went directly to the controls-performed the basic operations.



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