acetylcholinesterase

noun

ace·​tyl·​cho·​lin·​es·​ter·​ase ə-ˌse-tᵊl-ˌkō-lə-ˈne-stə-ˌrās How to pronounce acetylcholinesterase (audio)
-ˌrāz
: an enzyme that occurs chiefly in cholinergic nerve endings and promotes the hydrolysis of acetylcholine : cholinesterase sense 1

Note: Acetylcholinesterase is also found in red blood cells, where its function is unknown.

Examples of acetylcholinesterase in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web There is also evidence that wild lettuce can aggravate narrow-angle glaucoma, which is influenced by acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. Verywell Health, 14 Feb. 2023 Wild lettuce appears to be a robust acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. Verywell Health, 14 Feb. 2023 Steroidal alkaloids such as solanine have atropine-like effects on the nervous system inhibiting the enzyme acetylcholinesterase. Chris Smith, BGR, 28 July 2022 These drugs, called acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, can help treat neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s. Rebecca Sohn, Scientific American, 21 Apr. 2022 Anyone up for a heated debate about acetylcholinesterase inhibitors? Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, 17 Jan. 2020 The medical team sought to boost the pair’s production of acetylcholinesterase, an enzyme that is vital for the brain to communicate with muscles and that can be blocked by nerve agents. William Booth, Washington Post, 29 May 2018 Toxicologists say that the first days after a poisoning are a crucial threshold for survival, as the body struggles to resynthesize an enzyme, acetylcholinesterase, which is inhibited by nerve agents. Ellen Barry, New York Times, 7 July 2018 Nerve agents, which inhibit the enzyme acetylcholinesterase, can cause fatal respiratory paralysis within minutes if the exposure is severe, the paper said. Ellen Barry, New York Times, 29 May 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'acetylcholinesterase.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1937, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of acetylcholinesterase was in 1937

Dictionary Entries Near acetylcholinesterase

Cite this Entry

“Acetylcholinesterase.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/acetylcholinesterase. Accessed 22 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition

acetylcholinesterase

noun
ace·​tyl·​cho·​lin·​es·​ter·​ase -ˌkō-lə-ˈnes-tə-ˌrās, -ˌrāz How to pronounce acetylcholinesterase (audio)
: an enzyme that occurs chiefly in cholinergic nerve endings and promotes the hydrolysis of acetylcholine : cholinesterase sense 1
The therapeutic rationale is that inhibition of acetylcholinesterase enhances sympathetic ganglionic neurotransmission and that the effect is maximal when the patient is upright, since sympathetic-nerve traffic is greatest in this position.Roy Freeman, The New England Journal of Medicine
Tacrine is a potent, centrally active, reversible acetylcholinesterase inhibitor that prevents the degradation of endogenously released acetylcholine.Margaret J. Knapp et al., The Journal of the American Medical Association

Note: Acetylcholinesterase is also found in red blood cells where its function there is unknown.

More from Merriam-Webster on acetylcholinesterase

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!