• synonyms


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

Related Words


Examples from the Web for syncope

Historical Examples

  • In swoons and syncope, the soul no longer performs her ordinary functions.

    The Phantom World

    Augustin Calmet

  • Verbs which suffer a syncope in the Infinitive, suffer a like syncope in the Pret.

  • I must have lain several hours, partly in syncope, and partly asleep.

  • His breath fails him, and he seems relapsing into the syncope from which he has been aroused.

  • He died in a sort of syncope, seven hours after swallowing the tobacco.

British Dictionary definitions for syncope


  1. pathol a technical word for a faint
  2. the omission of one or more sounds or letters from the middle of a word
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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 syncope


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."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

syncope in Medicine


(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.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.