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synapse

[sin-aps, si-naps] /ˈsɪn æps, sɪˈnæps/
noun
1.
a region where nerve impulses are transmitted and received, encompassing the axon terminal of a neuron that releases neurotransmitters in response to an impulse, an extremely small gap across which the neurotransmitters travel, and the adjacent membrane of an axon, dendrite, or muscle or gland cell with the appropriate receptor molecules for picking up the neurotransmitters.
verb (used without object), synapsed, synapsing.
2.
Cell Biology, Physiology. to form a synapse or a synapsis.
Origin
1895-1900
1895-1900; back formation from synapses, plural of synapsis

synapsis

[si-nap-sis] /sɪˈnæp sɪs/
noun, plural synapses
[si-nap-seez] /sɪˈnæp siz/ (Show IPA)
1.
Also called syndesis. Cell Biology. the pairing of homologous chromosomes, one from each parent, during early meiosis.
2.
Physiology, synapse.
Origin
1645-55; < Neo-Latin < Greek sýnapsis junction, equivalent to synap- (stem of synáptein to make contact, equivalent to syn- syn- + (h)áptein to touch) + -sis -sis
Related forms
synaptic
[si-nap-tik] /sɪˈnæp tɪk/ (Show IPA),
synaptical, adjective
synaptically, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for synapses
  • It receives its synapses from the striatum in the same way as the pallidum.
British Dictionary definitions for synapses

synapse

/ˈsaɪnæps/
noun
1.
the point at which a nerve impulse is relayed from the terminal portion of an axon to the dendrites of an adjacent neuron

synapsis

/sɪˈnæpsɪs/
noun (pl) -ses (-siːz)
1.
(cytology) the association in pairs of homologous chromosomes at the start of meiosis
2.
another word for synapse
Word Origin
C19: from New Latin, from Greek sunapsis junction, from sunaptein to join together, from syn- + haptein to connect
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
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Word Origin and History for synapses

synapse

n.

"junction between two nerve cells," 1899, from Greek synapsis "conjunction," from synaptein "to clasp," from syn- "together" (see syn-) + haptein "to fasten." Related to apse. Introduced by English physiologist Sir Michael Foster (1836-1907) at the suggestion of English classical scholar Arthur Woollgar Verral (1851-1912).

synapsis

n.

plural synapses, 1895 in biology, Modern Latin, from Greek synapsis "connection, junction" (see synapse).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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synapses in Medicine

synapse syn·apse (sĭn'āps', sĭ-nāps')
n.
The junction across which a nerve impulse passes from an axon terminal to a neuron, a muscle cell, or a gland cell.

synapsis syn·ap·sis (sĭ-nāp'sĭs)
n. pl. syn·ap·ses (-sēz)
The side-by-side association of homologous paternal and maternal chromosomes during early meiotic prophase.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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synapses in Science
synapse
  (sĭn'āps')   

The small junction across which a nerve impulse passes from one nerve cell to another nerve cell, a muscle cell, or a gland cell. The synapse consists of the synaptic terminal, or presynaptic ending, of a sending neuron, a postsynaptic ending of the receiving cell that contains receptor sites, and the space between them (the synaptic cleft). The synaptic terminal contains neurotransmitters and cell organelles including mitochondria. An electrical impulse in the sending neuron triggers the migration of vesicles containing neurotransmitters toward the membrane of the synaptic terminal. The vesicle membrane fuses with the presynaptic membrane, and the neurotransmitters are released into the synaptic cleft and bind to receptors of the connecting cell where they excite or inhibit electrical impulses. See also neurotransmitter.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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synapses in Culture
synapse [(sin-aps, si-naps)]

A gap between two nerve cells. Nerve signals are sent across the gap by neurotransmitters.

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