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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for synaptic
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • synaptic cells summed and integrated, cancelled and compared and with saucy assurance sent the findings on toward Cumulative.

    We're Friends, Now Henry Hasse
  • One thing remained, unasked and unbeknownst, grooved with synaptic permanence in their burgeoning brains.

    The Beginning Henry Hasse
  • Time-travel always raises the synaptic delay threshold, but the trouble is it's so variable.

    The Ego Machine Henry Kuttner
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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