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

Other Words from neuron

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

Examples of neuron in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web When the neuron is triggered, those sacs open and release the neurotransmitters, sending molecular messages out of the cell to other neurons. Sara Harrison, Wired, 26 Jan. 2022 Furthermore, mindfulness helps with neuron growth in the areas of the brain related to confidence and social connection. Jennifer Kuhns, Outside Online, 6 Apr. 2021 The exterior is as crackly as its appearance promised, and the seasoning (there’s a good amount of salt) hits all my brain’s fast-food neuron grooves. Washington Post, 13 Jan. 2022 Although smaller than a neuron, microtubules may be large enough to host proto-conscious events (quantum collapses) of a particular scale or quantity necessary to give rise to conscious experience. Andrea Morris, Forbes, 4 Nov. 2021 The basic element of a deep net is an artificial neuron, which takes in a set of inputs, multiplies each one by a weight and then sums up the results. Quanta Magazine, 19 Apr. 2021 In most of the networks, that equated to about 1,000 artificial neurons for just one biological neuron. Quanta Magazine, 2 Sep. 2021 Such nonreciprocal relationships show up in systems like neuron networks and particles in fluids and even, on a larger scale, in social groups. Quanta Magazine, 11 Nov. 2021 Trauma to axons—a neuron's root-like fibers that extend toward other neurons—often appears only in the deeper white matter, sometimes eluding simple scans. Max G. Levy, Wired, 21 Oct. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near neuron

neuromuscular

neuron

neurone

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Last Updated

28 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Neuron.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/neuron. Accessed 28 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for neuron

neuron

noun

English Language Learners Definition of neuron

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

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

More from Merriam-Webster on 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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