synapse

[sin-aps, si-naps] Physiology.
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; back formation from synapses, plural of synapsis

Dictionary.com Unabridged

synapsis

[si-nap-sis]
noun, plural synapses [si-nap-seez] .
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

synaptic [si-nap-tik] , synaptical, adjective
synaptically, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
synapse (ˈsaɪnæps)
 
n
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)
 
n , pl -ses
1.  cytology the association in pairs of homologous chromosomes at the start of meiosis
2.  another word for synapse
 
[C19: from New Latin, from Greek sunapsis junction, from sunaptein to join together, from syn- + haptein to connect]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

synapse
"junction between two nerve cells," 1899, from Gk. synapsis "conjunction," from synaptein "to clasp," from syn- "together" + haptein "to fasten." Related to apse. Introduced by Eng. physiologist Sir Michael Foster (1836-1907) at the suggestion of Eng. classical scholar Arthur Woollgar Verral (1851-1912).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

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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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
synapse   (sĭn'āps')  Pronunciation Key 


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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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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
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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Example sentences for synapses
It receives its synapses from the striatum in the same way as the pallidum.
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