• synonyms


[sing-kuh-pee, sin-]
  1. Grammar. the contraction of a word by omitting one or more sounds from the middle, as in the reduction of never to ne'er.
  2. Pathology. brief loss of consciousness associated with transient cerebral anemia, as in heart block, sudden lowering of the blood pressure, etc.; fainting.
Show More

Origin of syncope

1350–1400; Middle English < Late Latin syncopē < Greek synkopḗ a cutting short, equivalent to syn- syn- + kop- (stem of kóptein to cut) + feminine noun suffix
Related formssyn·cop·ic [sin-kop-ik] /sɪnˈkɒp ɪk/, syn·co·pal, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for syncopal

Historical Examples

  • Convulsions alternate with syncopal attacks, and the patients suffer intense pain.

    The Great Pestilence (A.D. 1348-9)

    Francis Aidan Gasquet

  • The same vasomotor instability which shows itself in the tendency to syncopal attacks is apparent in many other ways.

    The Nervous Child

    Hector Charles Cameron

British Dictionary definitions for syncopal


  1. pathol a technical word for a faint
  2. the omission of one or more sounds or letters from the middle of a word
Show More
Derived Formssyncopic (sɪŋˈkɒpɪk) or syncopal, adjective

Word Origin

C16: from Late Latin syncopa, from Greek sunkopē a cutting off, from syn- + koptein to cut
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 syncopal



c.1400, from Late Latin syncopen "contraction of a word," accusative of syncope, from Greek synkope, "contraction of a word," originally "a cutting off," from synkoptein "to cut up," from syn- "together, thoroughly" (see syn-) + koptein "to cut," from PIE root *kop- "to beat, strike" (see hatchet). In pathology, "failure of the heart's action," hence "unconsciousness."

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

syncopal in Medicine


(sĭngkə-pəl, sĭn-)
  1. Of or relating to syncope.
Show More


(sĭngkə-pē, sĭn-)
  1. A brief loss of consciousness caused by a sudden fall of blood pressure or failure of the cardiac systole, resulting in cerebral anemia.
Show More
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.