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

But too many glial cells can disrupt the connectivity between neurons. Naseem S. Miller, orlandosentinel.com, "UCF researchers find link between processed foods and autism," 8 July 2019 Researchers also observe an increase in gamma waves, synchronized firing by groups of neurons at a frequency implicated with conscious awareness and executive functions such as voluntary action and decision-making. Achilleas Pavlou, Quartz, "A lucid dream researcher’s tips for controlling your dreams," 29 June 2019 From here, the researchers studied the connections and activity between individual neurons. Susan Scutti, CNN, "Mini-brains grown from stem cells don't think, but they do show 'complex' neural activity, researchers say," 27 June 2019 The exhaust from this, ketones, will not only keep your brain going during those periods of fasting and hunger but will actually improve cognition, grow the connections between neurons, and stave off neurodegeneration. Rahul Jandial, Md, Health.com, "The Popular Diet One Neurosurgeon Swears By as a Way to Boost His Brainpower," 5 June 2019 The most important thing for a solid neural network is the connections between neurons. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Figured Out How to Make Neural Networks 90 Percent Smaller—but Just as Smart," 7 May 2019 How precisely are memories encoded within groups of neurons? Michael Greshko, National Geographic, "Human memory: How we make, remember, and forget memories," 4 Mar. 2019 Looked at superficially, neurons in the brain seem to fire at random. The Economist, "Elon Musk wants to link brains directly to machines," 18 July 2019 Along this nerve cord are inhibitory neurons that act as gatekeepers, allowing pain signals through or blocking them based on context. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Study Finds Insects Can Experience Chronic Pain," 17 July 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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Last Updated

10 Aug 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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