Word of The Day for Friday, April 29, 2011


pro•pri•o•cep•tion (proh-pree-uh-SEP-shuhn)  n

the sense of the relative position of neighboring parts of the body
proprioceptive adjective

1906; from proprioceptor, from L. proprius "one's own, particular to itself," from pro privo "for the individual" + receptor from O.Fr. receptour or directly from L. receptor, agent noun from recipere "regain, take back," from re- "back" + -cipere, comb. form of capere "to take" from PIE *kap- "to grasp"

Synonyms: compare to: kinesthesia - the sense that detects bodily position, weight, or movement of the muscles, tendons, and joints; muscle sense
Related Words: proper, property, receive, perception, inception, reception

a sensory receptor, found chiefly in muscles, tendons, joints, and the inner ear, that detects the motion or position of the body or a limb by responding to stimuli arising within the organism

Sentence Examples:
• The fundament of our mind is the mental map we create of our body. It is a detailed, psychic, rendition of our corporeal self, based on sensa (sensory input) and above all on proprioception and other kinaesthetic senses. - Cyclopedia Of Philosophy, Sam Vaknin

• Other common symptoms include disordered senses that may render the individual overly sensitive or under-responsive to sound, touch, smell and other stimuli. Even the sense of proprioception—spatial awareness of one's own arms, legs and body—can be disturbed. - Time, 2007

• In land-living forms, we are accustomed to thinking of proprioception in terms of posture, of adaptations of the quadruped or erect position to gravity. - Whales, dolphins, and porpoises, Kenneth Stafford Norris


Unlike the exteroceptive senses, by which we perceive the outside world, and interoceptive senses, by which we perceive the pain and movement of internal organs, proprioception is a third distinct sensory modality that provides feedback solely on the status of the body internally. It is the sense that indicates whether the body is moving with the required effort, as well as where the various parts of the body are located in relation to each other.

Sources: Wikipedia, Free Dictionary, Online Etymology

Word-E: A Word-A-Day

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