[ koh-luh-nur-jik, kol-uh- ]

  1. resembling acetylcholine in pharmacological action.

  2. stimulated by or releasing acetylcholine or a related compound.

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Origin of cholinergic

First recorded in 1930–35; (acetyl)choline + -ergic

Words Nearby cholinergic Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

British Dictionary definitions for cholinergic


/ (ˌkəʊlɪˈnɜːdʒɪk) /

  1. denoting nerve fibres that release acetylcholine when stimulated

  2. of or relating to the type of chemical activity associated with acetylcholine and similar substances

Origin of cholinergic

C20: from (acetyl) cholin (e) + Greek ergon work

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

Scientific definitions for cholinergic


[ kō′lə-nûrjĭk ]

  1. Relating to a neuron or axon that is activated by or is capable of releasing acetylcholine when a nerve impulse passes. The nerve endings of the parasympathetic nervous system are cholinergic.

  2. Having physiological effects similar to those of acetylcholine, as certain drugs.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.