Definitions

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

  • n. Either of the sixth pair of cranial nerves that convey motor impulses to the rectus muscle on the lateral side of each eye.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. a small motor nerve supplying the lateral rectus muscle of the eye.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In anatomy, one of the sixth pair of cranial nerves: so called because it is the motor nerve of the rectus externus (external straight) muscle of the eye, which turns the eyeball outward.

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

  • n. a small motor nerve supplying the lateral rectus muscle of the eye

Etymologies

From Latin abdūcēns, present participle of abdūcere, to take away; see abduct.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Shortening of "abducens nerve", in turn from Latin nervus abducens, from abducent, abducens (Wiktionary)

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