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[sing-kuh-pee, sin-] /ˈsɪŋ kəˌpi, ˈsɪn-/
Grammar. the contraction of a word by omitting one or more sounds from the middle, as in the reduction of never to ne'er.
Pathology. brief loss of consciousness associated with transient cerebral anemia, as in heart block, sudden lowering of the blood pressure, etc.; fainting.
Origin of syncope
1350-1400; Middle English < Late Latin syncopē < Greek synkopḗ a cutting short, equivalent to syn- syn- + kop- (stem of kóptein to cut) + feminine noun suffix
Related forms
[sin-kop-ik] /sɪnˈkɒp ɪk/ (Show IPA),
syncopal, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for syncopal
Historical Examples
  • Convulsions alternate with syncopal attacks, and the patients suffer intense pain.

    The Great Pestilence (A.D. 1348-9) Francis Aidan Gasquet
  • The same vasomotor instability which shows itself in the tendency to syncopal attacks is apparent in many other ways.

    The Nervous Child Hector Charles Cameron
British Dictionary definitions for syncopal


(pathol) a technical word for a faint
the omission of one or more sounds or letters from the middle of a word
Derived Forms
syncopic (sɪŋˈkɒpɪk), syncopal, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Late Latin syncopa, from Greek sunkopē a cutting off, from syn- + koptein to cut
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 syncopal



c.1400, from Late Latin syncopen "contraction of a word," accusative of syncope, from Greek synkope, "contraction of a word," originally "a cutting off," from synkoptein "to cut up," from syn- "together, thoroughly" (see syn-) + koptein "to cut," from PIE root *kop- "to beat, strike" (see hatchet). In pathology, "failure of the heart's action," hence "unconsciousness."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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syncopal in Medicine

syncopal syn·co·pal (sĭng'kə-pəl, sĭn'-)
Of or relating to syncope.

syncope syn·co·pe (sĭng'kə-pē, sĭn'-)
A brief loss of consciousness caused by a sudden fall of blood pressure or failure of the cardiac systole, resulting in cerebral anemia.

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