syn·​ap·​tic | \ sə-ˈnap-tik How to pronounce synaptic (audio) \

Definition of synaptic

1 : of or relating to a synapsis
2 : of or relating to a synapse

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Other Words from synaptic

synaptically \ sə-​ˈnap-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce synaptically (audio) \ adverb

Examples of synaptic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Her hunch is that synaptic pruning and brain reorganization might be linked in some way to the depression and anxiety that women can experience during the postpartum period. Jenni Gritters, New York Times, "This Is Your Brain on Motherhood," 5 May 2020 If cortical neurons get a lot of conversation from one eye and none from the other eye, axons representing the first eye grab all the synaptic spaces on the cortical neurons. Quanta Magazine, "The Brain Reshapes Our Malleable Senses to Fit the World," 24 Mar. 2020 So the microbiome impacts gene expression in brain cells, which ultimately diminishes synaptic plasticity—the changes to the connections among 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 If information processing and learning arise from the strengthening of synaptic connections between neurons in gray matter, why does learning affect the brain’s subsurface cabling? R. Douglas Fields, Scientific American, "The Brain Learns in Unexpected Ways," 12 Mar. 2020 The data set, which has been dubbed the hemibrain, contains more than 20,000 neurons and approximately 20 million synaptic connections. Diana Kwon, Scientific American, "Largest Brain Wiring Diagram to Date Is Published," 22 Jan. 2020 This network-centric view of neural functioning has been overlooked by memory researchers narrowly focused on synaptic transmission. R. Douglas Fields, Scientific American, "Deeper Insights Emerge into How Memories Form," 18 Nov. 2019 At the same time, delta waves seem to degrade memories, perhaps by weakening brain connections in some form of synaptic downscaling. Quanta Magazine, "Dueling Brain Waves Anchor or Erase Learning During Sleep," 24 Oct. 2019 Cirelli emphasizes the importance of isolating the synaptic regions where these molecules accumulate and are produced. Emily Willingham, Scientific American, "Sleep Deprivation Shuts Down Production of Essential Brain Proteins," 10 Oct. 2019

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

1895, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for synaptic

New Latin synapsis

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Time Traveler for synaptic

Time Traveler

The first known use of synaptic was in 1895

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Cite this Entry

“Synaptic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for synaptic


syn·​ap·​tic | \ si-ˈnap-tik, British also sī- \

Medical Definition of synaptic

1 : of, relating to, or participating in synapsis synaptic chromosomes
2 : of or relating to a synapse synaptic transmission

Other Words from synaptic

synaptically \ -​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce synaptically (audio) \ adverb

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