re·cep·tor | \ri-ˈsep-tər \

Definition of receptor 

: receiver: such as

a : a cell or group of cells that receives stimuli : sense organ

b : a chemical group or molecule (such as a protein) on the cell surface or in the cell interior that has an affinity for a specific chemical group, molecule, or virus

Examples of receptor in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Those with hormone receptor (HR)-positive cancer that is HER2-negative (meaning there is little or no human epidural growth factor), and whose lymph nodes are cancer-free, benefit most from the genomic test. Elizabeth Varnell, Vogue, "Many Women With Breast Cancer Can Now Skip Chemo, According to a New Study," 4 June 2018 Scientists believe that the savory taste sensation results when some of our taste receptors respond to foods that contain the amino acid glutamate. Chris Ross,, "Blender gazpacho has umami flavors," 9 July 2018 The music’s own, natural flourishes start to come through and just tickle (instead of bludgeoning) my pleasure receptors. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "Audio-Technica R70x review: the definition of neutral headphones," 6 July 2018 Ambiguous results plagued small studies that tested mifepristone to control meningioma, a slow-growing brain tumor with progesterone receptors. Marie Mccullough,, "Can the abortion pill treat advanced lung cancer? This infertility expert wants to find out," 3 July 2018 Four pharmaceutical companies are racing to complete advanced clinical trials of antibodies that either neutralize CGRP by binding to it, or block its receptor. Emily Underwood, Science | AAAS, "Will antibodies finally put an end to migraines?," 18 May 2018 That gives you a digital signal of a smell based on the biological receptors in the human nose. Robert Chalmers, Newsweek, "Digitising Smell: The Third Sense Is Coming to Your Phone," 11 Sep. 2014 The company’s drugs target a cell receptor found on mucus membranes. Bradley J. Fikes,, "Escalier Biosciences raises $19 million," 16 Mar. 2018 More specifically, sebocytes, which are the cells that produce sebum or skin oils, have a histamine H-1 receptor on their surface, says Lily Talakoub, a dermatologist at the McLean Dermatology and Skincare Center in Virginia. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Your Allergy Medication Could Be Drying Out Your Skin," 13 Mar. 2018

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

1898, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

10 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for receptor

The first known use of receptor was in 1898

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English Language Learners Definition of receptor

biology : a nerve ending that senses changes in light, temperature, pressure, etc., and causes the body to react in a particular way


re·cep·tor | \ri-ˈsep-tər \

Kids Definition of receptor

: a cell that receives a stimulus (as light or heat) and activates an associated nerve to send a message to the brain and that may be grouped into a sense organ (as a taste bud)


re·cep·tor | \ri-ˈsep-tər \

Medical Definition of receptor 

1 : a cell or group of cells that receives stimuli : sense organ

2 : a chemical group or molecule (as a protein) on the cell surface or in the cell interior that has an affinity for a specific chemical group, molecule, or virus

3 : a cellular entity (as a beta-receptor or alpha-receptor) that is a postulated intermediary between a chemical agent (as a neurohormone) acting on nervous tissue and the physiological or pharmacological response

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More from Merriam-Webster on receptor

Spanish Central: Translation of receptor

Nglish: Translation of receptor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of receptor for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about receptor

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