Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A mineral crystallizing in another mineral in the form of a branching or treelike mark.
  • n. A rock or mineral bearing such a mark or marks.
  • n. A branched protoplasmic extension of a nerve cell that conducts impulses from adjacent cells inward toward the cell body. A single nerve may possess many dendrites. Also called dendron.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A slender projection of a nerve cell which conducts nerve impulses from a synapse to the body of the cell; a dendron.
  • n. Slender cell process emanating from the cell bodies of dendritic cells and follicular dendritic cells of the immune system.
  • n. tree-like structure of crystals growing as material crystallizes

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A stone or mineral on or in which are branching figures resembling shrubs or trees, produced by a foreign mineral, usually an oxide of manganese, as in the moss agate; also, a crystallized mineral having an arborescent form, e. g., gold or silver; an arborization.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A stone or a mineral on or in which are figures resembling shrubs, trees, or mosses.
  • n. A complex crystalline growth of arborescent form, such as is common with metallic silver and copper.
  • n. In neural., one of the protoplasmic processes of a nerve-cell: opposed to *neurite, the axis-cylinder. See cut at *neuron.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. short fiber that conducts toward the cell body of the neuron

Etymologies

From Ancient Greek δενδρίτης (dendrites, "of or pertaining to a tree"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The word dendrite means fingers; the organic glue and the surfactant used to shape the Clay NanoSheets used in this hydrogel both have fingers that reach out and grab the nearby elements, holding it all together.

    TreeHugger

  • A dendrite is a projection from a neuron that receives signals from the axons of its neighbors.

    Braingle

  • Based on rat studies, they hypothesize that "dendrite arborization" -- an increased branching growth of nerve cells -- caused by chronic antidepressant exposure, may be the cause.

    Dr. Peter Breggin: New Research: Antidepressants Can Cause Long-Term Depression

  • At the initial contact, the connection—the synapse—is quite weak; the dendrite can easily detach and hunt for another neuron.

    World Wide Mind

  • The dendrite can even detach, eliminating that synapse altogether.

    World Wide Mind

  • Inside this gap chemicals flow, and that flow makes a dendrite choose whether to send a signal to the nucleus.

    World Wide Mind

  • In reality, inputs from various levels of the nervous system arrive at different parts of a dendrite.

    World Wide Mind

  • Zinc wants to plate out as a dendrite instead of a smooth surface.

    A Brief History of Batteries- Part 2

  • The most promising appears to be using a separator that is hard and prevents the dendrite from growing.

    A Brief History of Batteries- Part 2

  • Reading about the dendrite problem, I thought of of one of old time washing machines, the kind with two pinch rollers on top to squeeze the water out of the rollers?

    A Brief History of Batteries- Part 2

Comments

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  • "It was too cold to form the lacy star-patterned crystals known as dendrites—the pretty snowflakes of Christmas cards. Too cold for the little pellets of graupel that accrete as ice crystals glue on layer after layer of supercooled droplets...."
    —David Laskin, The Children's Blizzard (New York: HarperCollins, 2004), 120

    Another usage on axon.

    November 11, 2008