[ sing-kruh-nuhs ]
/ ˈsɪŋ krə nəs /
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See synonyms for: synchronous / synchronously on Thesaurus.com

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Compare asynchronous.

Origin of synchronous

First recorded in 1660–70; from Late Latin synchronus, from Greek sýnchronos, equivalent to syn- “with, together +chrón(os) “time” + -os adjective suffix; see syn-, -ous

OTHER WORDS FROM synchronous

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does synchronous mean?

Synchronous describes two or more things happening at the same time, as in The fire resulted in the synchronous events of the fire alarm going off and the sprinkler system activating. 

Synchronous describes something happening in real time, such as with an online course when the students and instructor are all logged in at the same time for a lecture. If you’ve ever attended school via live video, you attended a synchronous class.

Synchronous also describes multiple things happening side by side at the same rate, as in The birdwatcher watched the synchronous flapping of the robin’s wings. 

In physics, synchronous means having the same frequency or phase. A synchronous electric motor, for example, involves a design that results in electric fields of equal voltage.

Example: The frail shelter suffered the synchronous assault of high winds and heavy rain.

Where does synchronous come from?

The first records of the term synchronous come from around 1660. It ultimately comes from the Greek sýnchronos, combining the stem syn- (“with” or “together”) and the noun khronos (“time”).

The word synchronous is very close in meaning to the verb synchronize, which means to cause multiple things to act at the same time and become synchronous.The noun sync, especially in the form in sync, describes a situation in which multiple things are synchronous.

In modern times, online synchronous learning has become more popular. This involves a teacher giving live instruction to students watching over the internet. In contrast, asynchronous learning involves a teacher posting notes or videos online and students consulting them at a later time. You can learn more about these two words at “‘Asynchronous’ vs. ‘Synchronous’: Time To Learn The Difference.”

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What are some other forms related to synchronous?

  • synchronously (adverb)
  • synchronousness (noun)
  • asynchronous (adjective)
  • asynchronously (adverb)

What are some synonyms for synchronous?

What are some words that share a root or word element with synchronous

What are some words that often get used in discussing synchronous?

How is synchronous used in real life?

Synchronous is used to describe things that happen at the same time.



Try using synchronous!

Which of the following is a synonym of synchronous?

A. conjoined
B. simultaneous
C. rehearsed
D. identical

How to use synchronous in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for synchronous

/ (ˈsɪŋkrənəs) /

occurring at the same time; contemporaneous
physics (of periodic phenomena, such as voltages) having the same frequency and phase
occurring or recurring exactly together and at the same ratethe synchronous flapping of a bird's wings

Derived forms of synchronous

synchronously, adverbsynchronousness, noun

Word Origin for synchronous

C17: from Late Latin synchronus, from Greek sunkhronos, from syn- + khronos time
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