neu·​ro·​trans·​mit·​ter ˌnu̇r-ō-tran(t)s-ˈmi-tər How to pronounce neurotransmitter (audio)
: a substance (such as norepinephrine or acetylcholine) that transmits nerve impulses across a synapse

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Think of Botox as a freezing agent, but instead of stopping movement because of extreme temperatures, the drug intercepts the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, the chemical signals from nerves that cause muscles to contract. Jenna Schnuer, Fortune, 27 Jan. 2023 Spiegel also thinks that the neurotransmitter serotonin is one of the body’s central gravity management systems. Monique Brouillette, Popular Mechanics, 19 Jan. 2023 Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that has been associated with feelings of satisfaction and well-being. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 15 Dec. 2022 Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter responsible for many physiological processes, including learning and memory. Dallas News, 24 July 2022 An important amino acid, L-tyrosine plays a vital role in neurotransmitter synthesis. Dallas News, 11 Jan. 2023 Autoimmune disorders like lupus, which causes the immune system to attack healthy cells by mistake, can also affect neurotransmitter function and lead to nerve pain. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 16 Dec. 2022 McKinney points out that the seasonal decrease in serotonin is especially problematic, as this neurotransmitter helps to regulate feelings of happiness. Nandi Howard, Essence, 24 Nov. 2022 Scientists have known for decades that many of psychedelic drugs’ most famous effects — visual hallucinations, heightened sensory and emotional sensitivity, etc. — are linked to elevated levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Ben Thomas, Discover Magazine, 29 Oct. 2014 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

1961, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of neurotransmitter was in 1961

Dictionary Entries Near neurotransmitter

Cite this Entry

“Neurotransmitter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


neu·​ro·​trans·​mit·​ter ˌn(y)u̇r-ō-tran(t)s-ˈmit-ər How to pronounce neurotransmitter (audio)
: a substance (as acetylcholine) that carries a nerve impulse from one neuron to another across a synapse

Medical Definition


neu·​ro·​trans·​mit·​ter ˌn(y)u̇r-ō-tran(t)s-ˈmit-ər, -tranz- How to pronounce neurotransmitter (audio)
: a substance (as norepinephrine or acetylcholine) that transmits nerve impulses across a synapse see false neurotransmitter

More from Merriam-Webster on neurotransmitter

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