synapse

noun
syn·​apse | \ ˈsi-ˌnaps How to pronounce synapse (audio) , sə-ˈnaps \

Definition of synapse

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the point at which a nervous impulse passes from one neuron to another

synapse

verb
synapsed; synapsing

Definition of synapse (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to form a synapse
2 : to come together in synapsis

Examples of synapse in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Every synapse of my brain is so utterly overwhelmed, there is no capacity left to think about the world out there. Christoph Niemann, New York Times, "The Unexpected Solace in Learning to Play Piano," 20 May 2020 So, no single synapse or neuron encodes the memory. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Neurons hide their memories in their imaginary fluctuations," 20 Oct. 2019 That research explores topics as diverse as protein synthesis in yeast and synapse formation in embryonic fruit flies. Meredith Wadman, Science | AAAS, "Female scientists allege discrimination, neglect of research on women at NIH’s child health institute," 2 Apr. 2020 In 2009, Budnik and her colleagues generated the first animal model that showed how fruit flies use extracellular vesicles to ferry a protein called Wnt across the synapse. Quanta Magazine, "Cells Talk in a Language That Looks Like Viruses," 2 May 2018 Deep into the synapse The researchers knew that the vagus nerve is one way that the gut and the brain communicate and that the adaptive immune system is another. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "Are you a mouse who can’t let go of fear? Your microbiome might be the problem," 27 Oct. 2019 During that disturbance, some of the proteins at the synapse that help receive and interpret these signals get broken down and recycled. Kelly Servick, Science | AAAS, "Ketamine disrupts memories to help heavy drinkers cut back," 26 Nov. 2019 Firing may trigger connected neurons to fire, too, depending on the weight of the synapse between them. Quanta Magazine, "As Machines Get Smarter, Evidence They Learn Like Us," 23 July 2013 Dendritic spines form half of the synapse and are essential to connecting neurons. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "Are you a mouse who can’t let go of fear? Your microbiome might be the problem," 27 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb His University of Pavia lab studies synapse formation as well as collagen production and its possible implications in cancer metastasis. Kelly Servick, Science | AAAS, "Updated: Labs go quiet as researchers brace for long-term coronavirus disruptions," 16 Mar. 2020

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

Noun

1899, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1910, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for synapse

Noun

New Latin synapsis, from Greek, juncture, from synaptein to fasten together, from syn- + haptein to fasten

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Time Traveler for synapse

Time Traveler

The first known use of synapse was in 1899

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Statistics for synapse

Last Updated

3 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Synapse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/synapse. Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for synapse

synapse

noun
How to pronounce synapse (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of synapse

biology : the place where a signal passes from one nerve cell to another

synapse

noun
syn·​apse | \ ˈsi-ˌnaps How to pronounce synapse (audio) \

Kids Definition of synapse

: the point at which a nerve impulse passes from one nerve cell to another

synapse

noun
syn·​apse | \ ˈsin-ˌaps also sə-ˈnaps, chiefly British ˈsī-ˌnaps \

Medical Definition of synapse

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the place at which a nerve impulse passes from one neuron to another
synapsed; synapsing

Medical Definition of synapse (Entry 2 of 2)

: to form a synapse or come together in synapsis

More from Merriam-Webster on synapse

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with synapse

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about synapse

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