Share this entry

white matter Syllabification: white mat·ter

Definition of white matter in English:


The paler tissue of the brain and spinal cord, consisting mainly of nerve fibers with their myelin sheaths. Compare with gray matter.
Example sentences
  • As well as major ‘ascending’ pathways carrying sensory information up to the corresponding regions of the cerebral cortex, the white matter of the brain stem and spinal cord also contains many tracts of fibres running downwards.
  • Nearly all cases of PML involve the cerebral white matter, but it may also involve white matter of cerebellum, brainstem and spinal cord.
  • The white matter of the spinal cord is arranged around the gray matter in posterior, lateral, and anterior columns which become progressively smaller from upper to lower levels of the cord.

Definition of white matter in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day confidant
Pronunciation: ˈkɒnfɪdant
a person with whom one shares a secret...