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[si-nap-sis] /sɪˈnæp sɪs/
noun, plural synapses
[si-nap-seez] /sɪˈnæp siz/ (Show IPA)
Also called syndesis. Cell Biology. the pairing of homologous chromosomes, one from each parent, during early meiosis.
Physiology, synapse.
Origin of synapsis
1645-55; < New 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
[si-nap-tik] /sɪˈnæp tɪk/ (Show IPA),
synaptical, adjective
synaptically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for synaptic
  • With eyes closed, superposing simple visual elements on the random visual synaptic firing.
  • First of all, you are creating new synaptic connections with every new activity you engage in.
  • As new stimuli are absorbed, the neurons in the cortex adapt gradually, and synaptic connections are forged or eliminated.
  • The compound is thought to work by reducing the synaptic release of a neurotransmitter called glutamate.
  • But the brain actually works by constantly creating, breaking, and tweaking the synaptic connections between neurons.
  • The synaptic network that finally emerges is only partly determined by genes, though.
  • Many synaptic plasticity mechanisms have been found throughout the cerebellum.
British Dictionary definitions for synaptic


of or relating to a synapse
Derived Forms
synaptically, adverb


noun (pl) -ses (-siːz)
(cytology) the association in pairs of homologous chromosomes at the start of meiosis
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 synaptic

1895, used as an adj. corresponding to synapsis, from Greek synaptikos, literally "connective, copulative."



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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synaptic in Medicine

synaptic syn·ap·tic (sĭ-nāp'tĭk)
Of or relating to synapsis or a synapse.

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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