neuron

noun
neu·​ron | \ ˈnü-ˌrän How to pronounce neuron (audio) , ˈnyü-; ˈnu̇r-ˌän, ˈnyu̇r- How to pronounce neuron (audio) \

Definition of neuron

: a grayish or reddish granular cell that is the fundamental functional unit of nervous tissue transmitting and receiving nerve impulses and having cytoplasmic processes which are highly differentiated frequently as multiple dendrites or usually as solitary axons which conduct impulses to and away from the cell body : nerve cell sense 1

Illustration of neuron

Illustration of neuron

neuron: 1 cell body, 2 dendrite, 3 axon, 4 nerve ending

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Other Words from neuron

neuronal \ ˈnu̇r-​ə-​nᵊl How to pronounce neuronal (audio) , ˈnyu̇r-​ ; nu̇-​ˈrō-​nᵊl , nyu̇-​ How to pronounce neuronal (audio) \ or less commonly neuronic \ nu̇-​ˈrä-​nik How to pronounce neuronic (audio) , nyu̇-​ \ adjective

Examples of neuron in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The neurons that are required to be able to feel pain don't exist. Julyssa Lopez, Glamour, "What Unplanned Gets Wrong About Abortion, According to Experts," 11 Apr. 2019 Benzodiazepines work by increasing signaling of GABA, a neurotransmitter that reduces the activity of your neurons, Dr. Alan says. Korin Miller, SELF, "5 Bipolar Disorder Treatments You Should Know About," 30 Nov. 2018 And contrary to the notion that forgetfulness reflects a withering of brain cells, scientists say it can actually be driven by the growth of new neurons in the hippocampus, a brain region linked to memory. Sue Shellenbarger, WSJ, "Why Forgetfulness Might Actually Help You," 22 Jan. 2019 Egocentric spatial information is encoded by one population of neurons in the hippocampus, and allocentric spatial information is encoded by a different population of cells in the hippocampus. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "Collating memories of what happened based on where it happened," 25 Nov. 2018 The drugs work by impacting neurotransmitters, the chemicals that transmit messages between neurons, and may help reduce symptoms, the NIA says. Korin Miller, SELF, "Are There Early Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease to Watch For?," 28 Nov. 2018 This suggested that to work, linalool tickled odor-sensitive neurons in the nose that send signals to just the right spots in the brain — the same ones triggered by Valium. Joanna Klein, The Seattle Times, "Lavender’s soothing scent could be more than just folk medicine," 26 Oct. 2018 The electrical and chemical ripples can stimulate neurons throughout the brain, according to this theory. Tony Dajer, Discover Magazine, "Vertigo, Panic and Trouble Breathing: What's Going On Here?," 19 Oct. 2018 Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects dopamine-producing neurons in the brain. Alexandria Hein, Fox News, "Cancer survivor left crippled by treatment undergoes life-saving surgery," 27 Aug. 2018

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

1891, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for neuron

borrowed from German Neuron, borrowed from Greek neûron "sinew, tendon, nerve" — more at nerve entry 1

Note: Term introduced by the German anatomist Heinrich Wilhelm Waldeyer (Heinrich Wilhelm Gottfried von Waldeyer-Hartz, 1836-1921) in "Ueber einige neuere Forschungen im Gebiete der Anatomie der Centralnervensystems," Berliner klinische Wochenschrift, 28. Jahrgang, no. 28, July 13, 1891, p. 691: "Somit besteht ein Nervenelement (eine 'Nerveneinheit' oder 'Neuron', wie ich es zu nennen vorschlagen möchte), den genannten Forschungsergebnissen … zufolge, aus nachstehenden Stücken: a) einer Nervenzelle, b) dem Nervenfortsatze, c) dessen Collateralen und d) dem Endbäumchen." - "Therefore, in accordance with the cited research results, a nerve element (a 'nerve unit' or 'neuron,' as I would like to suggest as a name), consists of the following parts: a) a nerve cell, b) the nerve process [= axon], c) its collaterals and d) the end tree [= axon terminals]." Waldeyer apparently intended -on to be taken as a suffix, indicating a unit, rather than the Greek neuter singular inflectional ending, as he utilized Neuronen as the plural in the same article. Cf. French neurone and the English variant neurone.

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Statistics for neuron

Last Updated

4 May 2019

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Time Traveler for neuron

The first known use of neuron was in 1891

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More Definitions for neuron

neuron

noun

English Language Learners Definition of neuron

medical : a cell that carries messages between the brain and other parts of the body and that is the basic unit of the nervous system

neuron

noun
neu·​ron | \ ˈnü-ˌrän How to pronounce neuron (audio) , ˈnyü-\

Kids Definition of neuron

neuron

noun
neu·​ron | \ ˈn(y)ü-ˌrän How to pronounce neuron (audio) , ˈn(y)u̇(ə)r-ˌän How to pronounce neuron (audio) \
variants: also neurone \ -​ˌrōn, -​ˌōn How to pronounce neurone (audio) \

Medical Definition of neuron

: one of the cells that constitute nervous tissue, that have the property of transmitting and receiving nerve impulses, and that are composed of somewhat reddish or grayish protoplasm with a large nucleus containing a conspicuous nucleolus, irregular cytoplasmic granules, and cytoplasmic processes which are highly differentiated frequently as multiple dendrites or usually as solitary axons and which conduct impulses toward and away from the cell body : nerve cell sense 1

Other Words from neuron

neuronal \ ˈn(y)u̇r-​ən-​ᵊl How to pronounce neuronal (audio) , n(y)u̇-​ˈrōn-​ᵊl How to pronounce neuronal (audio) \ also neuronic \ n(y)u̇-​ˈrän-​ik How to pronounce neuronic (audio) \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on neuron

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with neuron

Nglish: Translation of neuron for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of neuron for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about neuron

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