• synonyms


noun, plural syn·ap·ses [si-nap-seez] /sɪˈnæp siz/.
  1. Also called syndesis. Cell Biology. the pairing of homologous chromosomes, one from each parent, during early meiosis.
  2. Physiology. synapse.
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Origin of synapsis

1645–55; < New Latin < Greek sýnapsis junction, equivalent to synap- (stem of synáptein to make contact, equivalent to syn- syn- + (h)áptein to touch) + -sis -sis
Related formssyn·ap·tic [si-nap-tik] /sɪˈnæp tɪk/, syn·ap·ti·cal, adjectivesyn·ap·ti·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for synaptic

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Synaptic cells summed and integrated, cancelled and compared and with saucy assurance sent the findings on toward Cumulative.

  • One thing remained, unasked and unbeknownst, grooved with synaptic permanence in their burgeoning brains.

    The Beginning

    Henry Hasse

  • Time-travel always raises the synaptic delay threshold, but the trouble is it's so variable.

    The Ego Machine

    Henry Kuttner

British Dictionary definitions for synaptic



  1. of or relating to a synapse
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Derived Formssynaptically, adverb


noun plural -ses (-siːz)
  1. cytology the association in pairs of homologous chromosomes at the start of meiosis
  2. another word for synapse
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Word Origin

C19: from New Latin, from Greek sunapsis junction, from sunaptein to join together, from syn- + haptein to connect
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 synaptic


1895, used as an adj. corresponding to synapsis, from Greek synaptikos, literally "connective, copulative."

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plural synapses, 1895 in biology, Modern Latin, from Greek synapsis "connection, junction" (see synapse).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

synaptic in Medicine


  1. Of or relating to synapsis or a synapse.
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n. pl. syn•ap•ses (-sēz)
  1. The side-by-side association of homologous paternal and maternal chromosomes during early meiotic prophase.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.