all-or-none law

[ awl-er-nuhn ]
/ ˈɔl ərˈnʌn /

noun Physiology.

the principle that under given conditions the response of a nerve or muscle fiber to a stimulus at any strength above the threshold is the same: the muscle or nerve responds completely or not at all.

Nearby words

  1. all-in-one,
  2. all-inclusive,
  3. all-night,
  4. all-nighter,
  5. all-or-none,
  6. all-or-nothing,
  7. all-ordinaries index,
  8. all-out,
  9. all-over,
  10. all-overs

Origin of all-or-none law

First recorded in 1895–1900 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Medicine definitions for all-or-none law

all-or-none law


The principle that the strength by which a nerve or muscle fiber responds to a stimulus is not dependent on the strength of the stimulus. If the stimulus is any strength above threshold, the nerve or muscle fiber will either give a complete response or no response at all.
Related formsall′-or-none adj.

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