follow Dictionary.com

Today's Word of the Day means...

action potential

noun, Physiology
1.
the change in electrical potential that occurs between the inside and outside of a nerve or muscle fiber when it is stimulated, serving to transmit nerve signals.
Compare nerve impulse.
Origin
1925-1930
1925-30
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples for action potential
  • The voltage created by an action potential is not really something that is adjusted by amino acids.
British Dictionary definitions for action potential

action potential

noun
1.
a localized change in electrical potential, from about –70 mV to +30 mV and back again, that occurs across a nerve fibre during transmission of a nerve impulse
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
action potential in Medicine

action potential n.
The change in membrane potential occurring in nerve, muscle, or other excitable tissue when excitation occurs.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
action potential in Science
action potential
  (āk'shən)   
A momentary change in electrical potential on the surface of a neuron or muscle cell. Nerve impulses are action potentials. They either stimulate a change in polarity in another neuron or cause a muscle cell to contract.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
action potential in Culture

action potential definition


The rapid change in electric potential that parts of a nerve cell undergo when a nerve impulse is generated. Unlike ordinary electric current, which consists of the flow of electrons, the action potential involves the movement of sodium and potassium ions across the cell membrane.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of The Day

Difficulty index for action potential

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for action

8
10
Scrabble Words With Friends