[gang-glee-uh n]
See more synonyms for ganglion on
noun, plural gan·gli·a [gang-glee-uh] /ˈgæŋ gli ə/, gan·gli·ons.
  1. Anatomy.
    1. a mass of nerve tissue existing outside the central nervous system.
    2. any of certain masses of gray matter in the brain, as the basal ganglia.
  2. Pathology. a cyst or enlargement in connection with the sheath of a tendon, usually at the wrist.
  3. a center of intellectual or industrial force, activity, etc.

Origin of ganglion

1675–85; < Late Latin: a type of swelling < Greek gánglion a tumor under the skin, on or near a tendon
Related formsgan·gli·al, gan·gli·ar, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for ganglion

headquarters, hotbed, core, focus, heart, hub, HQ, epicenter, ganglion, switchboard

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Historical Examples of ganglion

British Dictionary definitions for ganglion


noun plural -glia (-ɡlɪə) or -glions
  1. an encapsulated collection of nerve-cell bodies, usually located outside the brain and spinal cord
  2. any concentration of energy, activity, or strength
  3. a cystic tumour on a tendon sheath or joint capsule
Derived Formsganglial or gangliar, adjectiveganglionic or gangliated, adjective

Word Origin for ganglion

C17: from Late Latin: swelling, from Greek: cystic tumour
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

Word Origin and History for ganglion

1680s, from Greek ganglion "tumor," used by Galen for "nerve bundle." Of unknown origin; according to Galen, the proper sense of the word was "anything gathered into a ball."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

ganglion in Medicine


n. pl. gan•gli•ons
  1. A group of nerve cells forming a nerve center, especially one located outside the brain or spinal cord.neuroganglion
  2. A benign tumorlike cyst containing mucopolysaccharide-rich fluid enclosed within fibrous tissue and usually attached to a tendon sheath in the hand, wrist, or foot.myxoid cyst synovial cyst
Related formsgangli•al adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

ganglion in Science


Plural ganglia
  1. A compact group of neurons enclosed by connective tissue and having a specific function. In invertebrate animals, pairs of ganglia occur at intervals along the axis of the body, with the forwardmost pair functioning like a brain. In vertebrates, ganglia are usually located outside the brain or spinal cord, where they regulate the functioning of the body's organs and glands as part of the autonomic nervous system.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.