neu·​ro·​trans·​mit·​ter | \ ˌnu̇r-ō-tran(t)s-ˈmi-tər How to pronounce neurotransmitter (audio) , -tranz-, ˌnyu̇r- \

Definition of neurotransmitter

: a substance (such as norepinephrine or acetylcholine) that transmits nerve impulses across a synapse

Examples of neurotransmitter in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For example, laughing may help control brain levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin, similar to what antidepressants do. Janet M. Gibson, The Conversation, "Laughing is good for your mind and your body – here’s what the research shows," 23 Nov. 2020 Avitrol increases levels of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that controls muscle contractions. Rachel Fobar, National Geographic, "This bird pesticide is legal, but recent deaths are stoking controversy," 21 Oct. 2020 In one study, researchers attached the gene-editing technology CRISPR/CAS 9 to a nanoparticle to disrupt the gene for mGluR5 receptors for the neurotransmitter glutamate, implicated in fragile X syndrome and other forms of autism. Lydia Denworth, Science | AAAS, "Is gene therapy ready to treat some forms of autism?," 14 Oct. 2020 Dopamine’s association with time perception is intriguing, in part because the neurotransmitter is better known for its function in reward and reinforcement learning processes. Quanta Magazine, "Reasons Revealed for the Brain’s Elastic Sense of Time," 24 Sep. 2020 Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs that cause a sedating or calming effect by acting on the neurotransmitter GABA, as SELF previously explained. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "The FDA Will Require a New Boxed Safety Warning for Benzodiazepines," 25 Sep. 2020 Like other nerve agents, Novichoks bind to acetylcholinesterase (AChE), an enzyme that breaks down the neurotransmitter acetylcholine when it is released into synapses. Richard Stone, Science | AAAS, "How German military scientists likely identified the nerve agent used to attack Alexei Navalny," 8 Sep. 2020 Because choline helps produce the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which aids mental focus, deficiencies can lead to compromised brain function, Bull explains. Nicole Clancy, Better Homes & Gardens, "7 of the Best Brain Foods to Improve Your Memory and Concentration," 25 June 2020 For example, the gut microbiota influences the body’s level of the potent neurotransmitter serotonin, which regulates feelings of happiness. Justin Sonnenburg, Scientific American, "Gut Feelings–the "Second Brain" in Our Gastrointestinal Systems [Excerpt]," 1 May 2015

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

1961, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of neurotransmitter was in 1961

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Last Updated

5 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Neurotransmitter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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How to pronounce neurotransmitter (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of neurotransmitter

medical : a substance in the body that carries a signal from one nerve cell to another


neu·​ro·​trans·​mit·​ter | \ ˌn(y)u̇r-ō-tran(t)s-ˈmit-ər, -tranz- How to pronounce neurotransmitter (audio) \

Medical Definition of neurotransmitter

: a substance (as norepinephrine or acetylcholine) that transmits nerve impulses across a synapse — see false neurotransmitter

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