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dendritic spine

n.
  1. Any of various outgrowths of certain nerve-cell dendrites, ranging in shape from small knobs to thornlike or filamentous processes, that are preferential sites of synaptic axodendritic contact.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.