cho·​lin·​es·​ter·​ase | \ ˌkō-lə-ˈne-stə-ˌrās How to pronounce cholinesterase (audio) , -ˌrāz\

Definition of cholinesterase

1 : an enzyme that occurs chiefly at neuromuscular junctions and promotes the hydrolysis of acetylcholine at postsynaptic receptors : acetylcholinesterase

Examples of cholinesterase in a Sentence

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The Novichok nerve agents cause harm by crippling the action of cholinesterase, an enzyme involved in the normal and essential breakdown of some neurotransmitters. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Second Novichok poisoning in Britain raises alarm, questions over contamination," 5 July 2018 Agents like Novichok can enter the body by being eaten or inhaled, or through the skin, and block the action of cholinesterase, an enzyme that breaks down a nervous-system protein called acetylcholine. Fortune, "What Is Novichok? Why the Russian Nerve Agent Is So Dangerous," 5 July 2018 Suppression of cholinesterase can cause nerve impulses to be continuously transmitted, preventing muscle contractions from stopping—causing muscle spasms and, eventually, death. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "NATO leaders unite in blaming Russia for nerve agent attack on ex-spy," 15 Mar. 2018 These nerve poisons can inhibit an enzyme called cholinesterase, which breaks down a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. C. Claiborne Ray, New York Times, "In Nature, Cockroaches Don’t Die Belly Up," 29 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cholinesterase.' 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 cholinesterase

1932, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near cholinesterase

cholic acid







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Time Traveler for cholinesterase

The first known use of cholinesterase was in 1932

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More Definitions for cholinesterase


cho·​lin·​es·​ter·​ase | \ ˌkō-lə-ˈnes-tə-ˌrās, -ˌrāz How to pronounce cholinesterase (audio) \

Medical Definition of cholinesterase

1 : an enzyme that occurs chiefly at neuromuscular junctions and promotes the hydrolysis of acetylcholine at postsynaptic receptors : acetylcholinesterase The acetylcholine released by cholinergic fibers is rapidly decomposed by the action of cholinesterase.— John W. Hole, Human Anatomy & Physiology, 1981 As a cholinesterase inhibitor, it increases parasympathetic nervous system activity.— T. A. Farley et. al., The Journal of the American Medical Association, 2 June 1999

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