neu·​ro·​trans·​mit·​ter | \ˌnu̇r-ō-tran(t)s-ˈmi-tər, -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

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There are more than 100 of these chemicals (neurotransmitters) and many neurons release more than one. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "The Heroes of Science Who Are Unlocking the Brain," 3 Oct. 2018 Ultimately, the results of the study into T. gondii found that the parasite could be affecting neurotransmitters in our brains and hormones like testosterone, making us more impulsive and less afraid of taking risks. Elly Belle, Teen Vogue, "How Cat Poop Can Affect Your Health," 9 Aug. 2018 As with all migraines, the nerve endings and tissue that surround the brain become swollen and a neurotransmitter called CGRP spikes. Katy Schneider, The Cut, "Why Did It Take So Long to Figure Out Migraines?," 22 May 2018 Through experiments that began in the United States at the National Institutes of Health and continued in Sweden, Dr. Carlsson showed that dopamine was a neurotransmitter in its own right. Harrison Smith, Washington Post, "Arvid Carlsson, Nobel laureate who uncovered a treatment for Parkinson’s, dies at 95," 2 July 2018 When the brain gets some sort of external cue, like the ding of a Facebook notification, that often precedes a reward, the basal ganglia receive a burst of dopamine, a powerful neurotransmitter linked to the anticipation of pleasure. Haley Sweetland Edwards, Time, "You're Addicted to Your Smartphone. This Company Thinks It Can Change That," 13 Apr. 2018 There’s also lofexidine, a non-opioid treatment that reduces the release of norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter that is thought to play a role in many of the symptoms of opioid withdrawal. Houston Chronicle, "How to “live long and prosper”," 7 July 2018 Mothers and daughters, sons and fathers, wrestling with illnesses that surge and recede in waves and cycles, with neurotransmitters the tides. Laura Zera, New York Times, "No One Helped My Mentally Ill Mother, or Me," 22 June 2018 The drug suppresses the release of GABA and thus could restore levels of the neurotransmitter to normal in people with a dangerous taste for alcohol. Bret Stetka, Scientific American, "Scientists Pinpoint Brain Region That May Be Center of Alcohol Addiction," 21 June 2018

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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12 Nov 2018

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The first known use of neurotransmitter was in 1961

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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- \

Medical Definition of neurotransmitter 

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

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