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

Excess inflammation and neuron damage are among the catastrophic results in the brain. Washington Post, The Denver Post, "Colorado Alzheimer’s researchers shift focus after failures; begin testing leukemia medicine as treatment," 6 July 2019 The hermaphrodite has 302 neurons, which connect to 132 muscles and 26 other spots, such as the gut, gonads and skin. Karen Weintraub, Scientific American, "Worm Wiring Diagram May Help Us Understand Our Own Nervous System," 3 July 2019 The disease progressively destroys neurons, especially in a region deep inside the brain called the basal ganglia. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Experimental Huntington’s disease drug can be given less frequently," 1 July 2019 Every minute without oxygen kills 2 million neurons, or brain cells. Hillary Davis, latimes.com, "Stroke survivors of all ages celebrate and thrive at gathering in Fountain Valley," 6 June 2019 The capsids travel to neurons, where Arc’s mRNA is then transferred; the cells then also start releasing Arc capsids. Lacy Schley, Discover Magazine, "State of Science: Neurons Are Surprising Researchers With Unexpected Abilities," 15 Jan. 2019 The cerebellum, by contrast, has roughly half the total neurons in the brain, and yet people can survive with severe damage to it. Joe Lindsey, Popular Mechanics, "'Game of Thrones' Science: How Do Wights Work?," 26 Apr. 2019 Both research teams observed how the neurons that compile mental maps of physical space reprogram themselves to better reflect our experiences, activities and priorities. Quanta Magazine, "Goals and Rewards Redraw the Brain’s Map of the World," 28 Mar. 2019 The more the neurons fire together, the more the cells' interconnections strengthen. Michael Greshko, National Geographic, "Human memory: How we make, remember, and forget memories," 4 Mar. 2019

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

13 Jul 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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