ax·​on | \ ˈak-ˌsän How to pronounce axon (audio) \
variants: or less commonly axone \ ˈak-​ˌsōn How to pronounce axon (audio) \

Definition of axon

: a usually long and single nerve-cell process that usually conducts impulses away from the cell body — see neuron illustration

Other Words from axon

axonal \ ˈak-​sə-​nᵊl How to pronounce axon (audio) ; ak-​ˈsä-​ How to pronounce axon (audio) , -​ˈsō-​ How to pronounce axon (audio) \ adjective

Examples of axon in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Mice that already had amyloid pathology developed neuritic plaque tau, the axon-damaging form of the protein. Jason Ulrich, Scientific American, 1 Aug. 2021 That may or may not result in a spike, or action potential, going out on the neuron’s axon to the dendrites of post-synaptic neurons. Quanta Magazine, 18 Feb. 2021 Information for both signals can be encoded in the spikes of electrical activity that the neuron sends down its axon as an output. Quanta Magazine, 18 Feb. 2021 The brain also contains white matter, which insulates the axons, helping brain signals travel further, faster and encouraging motor and sensory function. Jenni Gritters, New York Times, 5 May 2020 This is an important finding because squid nerve cells are immense, with axons sometimes stretching several feet long. Eric Niiler, Wired, 24 Mar. 2020 Research in several laboratories has found recently that OPCs can respond to neural impulse activity by dividing and maturing into myelin-forming oligodendrocytes, and increasing the number of myelinated axons. R. Douglas Fields, Scientific American, 18 Nov. 2019 If cortical neurons get a lot of conversation from one eye and none from the other eye, axons representing the first eye grab all the synaptic spaces on the cortical neurons. Quanta Magazine, 24 Mar. 2020 Distant neurons talk to each other through axons, which extend, tentacle-like, from the body of one neuron to tickle another with an electrical signal. Katherine Ellen Foley, Quartz, 19 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'axon.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of axon

1895, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for axon

New Latin axon, from Greek axōn

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Cite this Entry

“Axon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for axon


ax·​on | \ ˈak-ˌsän How to pronounce axon (audio) \

Kids Definition of axon

: a long fiber that carries impulses away from a nerve cell


ax·​on | \ ˈak-ˌsän How to pronounce axon (audio) \
variants: also axone \ -​ˌsōn How to pronounce axon (audio) \

Medical Definition of axon

: a usually long and single nerve-cell process that usually conducts impulses away from the cell body

More from Merriam-Webster on axon Encyclopedia article about axon


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