synapse[sin′aps′, si naps′]
- The definition of a synapse is the junction between two neurons or nerve cells where there is a small gap that neurotransmitters help nerve impulses to cross.
When a neuron releases a neurotransmitter which then binds to receptors located within the plasma membrane of a cell, initiating an electrical response or exciting or inhibiting the neuron, this is an example of a chemical synapse.
Origin of synapseModern Latin synapsis: see synapsis
intransitive verbsyn·apsed, syn·aps·ing, syn·aps·es
- To form a synapse.
- To undergo synapsis.
Origin of synapseGreek sunapsis, point of contact, from sunaptein, to join together : sun-, syn- + haptein, to fasten.
(third-person singular simple present synapses, present participle synapsing, simple past and past participle synapsed)
From Ancient Greek σύναψις (sunapsis, “conjunction”), from συνάπτω (sunaptō, “to clasp”).