glu·​ta·​mate | \ ˈglü-tə-ˌmāt How to pronounce glutamate (audio) \

Definition of glutamate

: a salt or ester of glutamic acid specifically : a salt or ester of levorotatory glutamic acid that functions as an excitatory neurotransmitter — compare monosodium glutamate

Examples of glutamate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Tau, for instance, accumulates in neurons that use the neurotransmitter glutamate and work to excite signals. Kenneth S. Kosik, Scientific American, "Five Types of Research, Underexplored until Recently, Could Produce Alzheimer’s Treatments," 20 Apr. 2020 All of these ingredients are rich in glutamates, the chemical compounds largely responsible for the mouthwatering savory flavor known as umami. J. Kenji López-alt, New York Times, "How to Cook With Plant-Based Meats," 3 Mar. 2020 Pizza toppings are also packed with a compound called glutamate, which can be found in the tomatoes, cheese, pepperoni and sausage. Jeffrey Miller, Washington Post, "The combinations and the cooking process enhance the taste of already-tasty ingredients.," 4 Nov. 2019 In addition to glutamate, two other molecules, inosinate and guanylate, emit umami. Elizabeth G. Dunn, WSJ, "From MSG Scare to MVP Status: How We Learned to Love Umami," 30 Jan. 2020 The treatment, Caplyta, is the drug developer’s lead candidate that has been shown to regulate three neurotransmitter systems — serotonin, dopamine and glutamate — linked to severe mental illnesses. Washington Post, "New orders for key U.S.-made capital goods rose only slightly in November," 23 Dec. 2019 Alcohol consumption also affects a variety of neurotransmitter systems in the brain, including glutamate, dopamine and serotonin. Daryl Davies, Joshua Silva And Terry David Church, CNN, "Hangovers: Why you get them and how to fight them off," 27 Dec. 2019 Ketamine works on the neurotransmitter glutamate, which is considered crucial in learning and memory formation. Washington Post, "How Ketamine Opens a New Era for Depression Treatment," 14 June 2019 Foods that contain a lot of glutamate can be called umami: Parmesan cheese, mushrooms, chicken, beef and pork all can take on the rich flavor of umami. Heloise, Washington Post, "Hints From Heloise: Clothes for class," 15 Aug. 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of glutamate

1876, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about glutamate

Time Traveler for glutamate

Time Traveler

The first known use of glutamate was in 1876

See more words from the same year

Statistics for glutamate

Last Updated

8 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Glutamate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for glutamate


glu·​ta·​mate | \ ˈglüt-ə-ˌmāt How to pronounce glutamate (audio) \

Medical Definition of glutamate

: a salt or ester of glutamic acid specifically : a salt or ester of levorotatory glutamic acid that functions as an excitatory neurotransmitter — see monosodium glutamate

More from Merriam-Webster on glutamate Encyclopedia article about glutamate

Comments on glutamate

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


Test Your Vocabulary

July 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • papercraft sunset
  • Which is a synonym of mien?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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