- Carrying toward. A vein is an afferent vessel since it carries blood toward from the heart. An afferent nerve carries impulses toward the central nervous system. The opposite of afferent is efferent.
* * *Inflowing; conducting toward a center, denoting certain arteries, veins, lymphatics, and nerves. Opposite of efferent. SYN: centripetal (1), esodic. [L. afferens, fr. af-fero, to bring to]
* * *af·fer·ent 'af-ə-rənt, -.er-ənt adj bearing or conducting inward specif conveying impulses toward the central nervous system compare EFFERENTaf·fer·ent·ly advafferent n an afferent anatomical part (as a nerve) <the effect on the hypothalamus of \afferents from the stomach>
* * *adj.1. designating nerves or neurones that convey impulses from sense organs and other receptors to the brain or spinal cord, i.e. any sensory nerve or neurone.2. designating blood vessels that feed a capillary network in an organ or part.3. designating lymphatic vessels that enter a lymph node. Compare efferent.
* * *af·fer·ent (afґər-ənt) [L. ad- to + ferre to carry] 1. conveying toward a center; called also centripetal. 2. something that so conducts; see under fiber and nerve. Cf. corticipetal.
Medical dictionary. 2011.