[sing-kuh-pee, sin-]


Grammar. the contraction of a word by omitting one or more sounds from the middle, as in the reduction of never to ne'er.
Pathology. brief loss of consciousness associated with transient cerebral anemia, as in heart block, sudden lowering of the blood pressure, etc.; fainting.

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for syncopal

Historical Examples of syncopal

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

  • 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



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

Word Origin for syncope

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."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

syncopal in Medicine


[sĭngkə-pəl, sĭn-]


Of or relating to syncope.


[sĭngkə-pē, sĭn-]


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