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 In this regard, considerable evidence has demonstrated that the regulation of two receptors—AMPA and NMDA—on many neurons that respond to the neurotransmitter glutamate control changes in the tiny junctions, or synapses, between neurons. Husseini Manji, Scientific American, 14 Sep. 2021 In Parkinson's disease, which is likely caused by a combination of genetics and environmental factors, neurons that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine break down or die. Sharon Guynup, Science, 29 Dec. 2021 Psilocybin acts on the same receptors in the brain as the neurotransmitter serotonin, a key molecule for regulating mood and feelings of wellbeing. Kendall Powell, Smithsonian Magazine, 17 Dec. 2021 This molecule travels into the brain, where it's converted into a neurotransmitter called serotonin, which in turn is converted into a hormone called melatonin. Andrew Neff, CNN, 25 Nov. 2021 And what is being sent through those networks are [chemicals] like glutamate, which is an amino acid that also serves as a neurotransmitter in our brain. Richard Schiffman, Scientific American, 4 May 2021 Around the menstrual period, estrogen levels rapidly drop causing major changes in the chemical neurotransmitter serotonin, which can trigger a migraine attack. Sara Lindberg, SELF, 2 Dec. 2021 Certain chemicals in tart cherries boost the availability of tryptophan, an amino acid involved in the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is linked to healthy sleep., 28 Oct. 2021 Most addictions are associated with a neurotransmitter called dopamine. Arthur C. Brooks, The Atlantic, 7 Oct. 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of neurotransmitter

1961, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About neurotransmitter

Time Traveler for neurotransmitter

Time Traveler

The first known use of neurotransmitter was in 1961

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near neurotransmitter




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for neurotransmitter

Last Updated

16 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Neurotransmitter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for neurotransmitter



English Language Learners Definition of neurotransmitter

: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on neurotransmitter Encyclopedia article about neurotransmitter


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!