syn·​chro·​nous | \ ˈsiŋ-krə-nəs How to pronounce synchronous (audio) , ˈsin- \

Definition of synchronous

1 : happening, existing, or arising at precisely the same time
2 : recurring or operating at exactly the same periods
3 : involving or indicating synchronism
4a : having the same period also : having the same period and phase
5 : of, used in, or being digital communication (as between computers) in which a common timing signal is established that dictates when individual bits can be transmitted and which allows for very high rates of data transfer

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from synchronous

synchronously adverb
synchronousness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for synchronous

contemporary, contemporaneous, coeval, synchronous, simultaneous, coincident mean existing or occurring at the same time. contemporary is likely to apply to people and what relates to them. Abraham Lincoln was contemporary with Charles Darwin contemporaneous is more often applied to events than to people. contemporaneous accounts of the kidnapping coeval refers usually to periods, ages, eras, eons. two stars thought to be coeval synchronous implies exact correspondence in time and especially in periodic intervals. synchronous timepieces simultaneous implies correspondence in a moment of time. the two shots were simultaneous coincident is applied to events and may be used in order to avoid implication of causal relationship. the end of World War II was coincident with a great vintage year

Did You Know?

Communications satellites are usually put into a synchronous (or geosynchronous) orbit, circling the earth once every 24 hours and so appearing to hover over a single spot on the surface. This type of synchronized movement is important, since you have to know where to aim your satellite dish. In the computer field, synchronous usually refers to the use of a simple timing signal that permits very rapid exchange of data between computers. The kind of mysterious coincidence sometimes called synchronicity—such as the appearance of two different comic-strip characters named Dennis the Menace in the U.S. and Britain within three days of each other in 1951—has fascinated people for centuries.

Examples of synchronous in a Sentence

the synchronous arrival of a baby sister and loss of a beloved grandmother strongly affected the child
Recent Examples on the Web Much like podcasts and radio, Clubhouse is synchronous media, best consumed while otherwise engaged. Anna Wiener, The New Yorker, "Clubhouse Feels Like a Party," 31 Mar. 2021 The synchronous rise of homicide across American cities and towns suggests a national problem, however. The Economist, "In 2020 America experienced a terrible surge in murder. Why?," 27 Mar. 2021 Some assignments should be analog, and there should be a balance of synchronous and asynchronous learning, interrupted by time scheduled for socializing and physical movement. Lisa Selin Davis, CNN, "This is what distance learning should look like in the fall," 10 Aug. 2020 As school districts work out how many asynchronous versus synchronous educational hours are effective for different student populations, Zoom fatigue is a real challenge. Pamela Appea, Wired, "My Kids Struggle With Remote Learning. Here's What Could Help," 9 Mar. 2021 Speaking of the inoculation date, the district has announced remote and synchronous learning days for March 9 and 10 to accommodate the vaccinations regarding the former and any post-vaccine reactions on the latter. John Benson, cleveland, "Lakewood City Schools announce March 15 all-in date, address learning loss with invite-only ‘Spring into STEM’ program: Photos," 8 Mar. 2021 That means asynchronous video learning, blended learning and the ever-popular synchronous webinars are now our dominant learning modes. William Arruda, Forbes, "Why The Webinar Is Dead And What Needs To Replace It," 28 Feb. 2021 The park is also home to an incredible natural phenomenon — synchronous fireflies, best spotted during the Fireflies Festival. Elizabeth Rhodes, Travel + Leisure, "The Best Things to Do in South Carolina, According to a Local," 26 Feb. 2021 Not to mention the bandwidth (and energy) requirement that synchronous audio-video feeds require to run without glitches. Ksenya Samarskaya, Wired, "The Pandemic Holds These Keys to a Better Education," 17 Feb. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'synchronous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of synchronous

1669, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for synchronous

borrowed from Late Latin synchronos "contemporary," borrowed from Greek sýnchronos "existing at the same time," from syn- syn- + -chronos, adjective derivative of chrónos "time, duration," of obscure origin

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about synchronous

Time Traveler for synchronous

Time Traveler

The first known use of synchronous was in 1669

See more words from the same year

Statistics for synchronous

Last Updated

9 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Synchronous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for synchronous



English Language Learners Definition of synchronous

formal + technical : happening, moving, or existing at the same time


syn·​chro·​nous | \ ˈsiŋ-krə-nəs, ˈsin- How to pronounce synchronous (audio) \

Medical Definition of synchronous

1 : happening, existing, or arising at precisely the same time
2 : recurring or operating at exactly the same periods
3 : having the same period also : having the same period and phase

Other Words from synchronous

synchronously adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on synchronous

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for synchronous

Comments on synchronous

What made you want to look up synchronous? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!