Visceral

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Visceral'

Visceral Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    visceral adj
  1. relating to or affecting the viscera; "visceral bleeding"; "a splanchnic nerve" [syn: splanchnic]
  2. obtained through intuition rather than from reasoning or observation [syn: intuitive, nonrational]
Visceral Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Visceral \Vis"cer*al\, a. [Cf. F. visc['e]ral, LL. visceralis.]
  1. (Anat.) Of or pertaining to the viscera; splanchnic.
  2. Fig.: Having deep sensibility. [R.] --Bp. Reynolds. Visceral arches (Anat.), the bars or ridges between the visceral clefts. Visceral cavity or tube (Anat.), the ventral cavity of a vertebrate, which contains the alimentary canal, as distinguished from the dorsal, or cerebro-spinal, canal. Visceral clefts (Anat.), transverse clefts on the sides just back of the mouth in the vertebrate embryo, which open into the pharyngeal portion of the alimentary canal, and correspond to the branchial clefts in adult fishes.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Visceral'


In anatomy, a viscus (pronounced /ˈvɪskəs/) is an internal organ, and viscera is the plural form. The viscera, when removed from a butchered animal, are known collectively as offal. Internal organs are also known as "innards", or less formally, "guts" (which may also refer to the gastrointestinal tract).

The adjective visceral, also splanchnic, is used for anything pertaining to the internal organs. Historically, viscera of animals were examined by Roman pagan priests like the haruspices or the augurs in order to define the future by their shape, dimensions or other factors. This practice remains an important ritual in some remote, tribal societies.

The viscera are mainly innervated parasympathetically by the vagus nerve and sympathetically by the splanchnic nerves. The sensory part of the latter reaches the spinal column at certain spinal segments. Pain in any viscera is perceived as referred pain, more specifically pain from the dermatome corresponding to the spinal segment.

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