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[noo r-on, nyoo r-] /ˈnʊər ɒn, ˈnyʊər-/
Cell Biology. a specialized, impulse-conducting cell that is the functional unit of the nervous system, consisting of the cell body and its processes, the axon and dendrites.
Also, especially British, neurone
[noo r-ohn, nyoo r-] /ˈnʊər oʊn, ˈnyʊər-/ (Show IPA)
Also called nerve cell.
Compare synapse.
Origin of neuron
First recorded in 1880-85, neuron is from the Greek word neûron sinew, cord, nerve
Related forms
[noo r-uh-nl, nyoo r-, noo-rohn-l, nyoo-] /ˈnʊər ə nl, ˈnyʊər-, nʊˈroʊn l, nyʊ-/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for neurons
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There is usually a group of neurons in the path from the surface to the brain cortex.

    Psychotherapy James J. Walsh
  • It has been said that the movement of neurons has been observed in certain of the Medusae.

    Psychotherapy James J. Walsh
  • This over excitation of neurons may come from without, or may come from within.

    Psychotherapy James J. Walsh
  • Potts almost felt the currents surging through the neurons of his brain and sensed a throbbing on the inside of his skull.

    A Thought For Tomorrow Robert E. Gilbert
  • Let us next examine the structure of the nerve cells or neurons part of which serve as pathways for these messages.

    A Civic Biology George William Hunter
Word Origin and History for neurons



"a nerve cell with appendages," 1891, from German Neuron, from Greek neuron (see neuro-). Used earlier (1884) for "the spinal cord and brain."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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neurons in Medicine

neuron neu·ron (nur'ŏn', nyur'-) or neu·rone (-ōn')
Any of the impulse-conducting cells that constitute the brain, spinal column, and nerves, consisting of a nucleated cell body with one or more dendrites and a single axon. Also called nerve cell, neurocyte.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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neurons in Science

A cell of the nervous system. Neurons typically consist of a cell body, which contains a nucleus and receives incoming nerve impulses, and an axon, which carries impulses away from the cell body. Also called nerve cell.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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neurons in Culture
neurons [(noor-onz, nyoor-onz)]

The basic unit of nerve tissue; the nerve cells. Neurons carry and transmit electrical signals throughout the nervous system.

The 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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