[ sing-kuh-pee, sin- ]
See synonyms for syncope on
  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.

Origin of syncope

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English, from Late Latin syncopē, from Greek synkopḗ “a cutting short,” from syn- syn- + kopḗ “a cutting” (from kóptein “to cut”)

Other words from syncope

  • syn·cop·ic [sin-kop-ik], /sɪnˈkɒp ɪk/, syn·co·pal, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use syncope in a sentence

  • This is frequently seen in threatened syncopal attacks during chloroform administration.

    Manual of Surgery | Alexis Thomson and Alexander Miles
  • 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
  • Convulsions alternate with syncopal attacks, and the patients suffer intense pain.

    The Great Pestilence (A.D. 1348-9) | Francis Aidan Gasquet

British Dictionary definitions for syncope


/ (ˈsɪŋkəpɪ) /

  1. pathol a technical word for a faint

  2. the omission of one or more sounds or letters from the middle of a word

Origin of syncope

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

Derived forms of syncope

  • syncopic (sɪŋˈkɒpɪk) or syncopal, adjective

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