action potential

noun

Definition of action potential

:a momentary reversal in electrical potential across a plasma membrane (as of a neuron or muscle fiber) that occurs when a cell has been activated by a stimulus

First Known Use of action potential

1913


Medical Dictionary

action potential

noun

medical Definition of action potential

:a momentary reversal in the potential difference across a plasma membrane (as of a nerve cell or muscle fiber) that occurs when a cell has been activated by a stimulus called also spike potential; compare resting potential — see afterpotential, generator potential, prepotential

Learn More about action potential


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up action potential? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

of yeast or being unsettled or frivolous

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Merriam-Webster's New Words Quiz—Fall 2017 Edition!

  • young-plant-shoots
  • Which of the following is a new sense of the word bunny?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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