Definition of quantal in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkwän(t)l/


1Composed of discrete units; varying in steps rather than continuously: a quantal release of neurotransmitter
More example sentences
  • The number of receptors opened following quantal release may vary directly with the total number of receptors at the synapse, but other, more complex, interactions may occur.
  • Expression of tetanus toxin is known to reduce the frequency of spontaneous quantal release.
  • Ideally, this requires the identification of peaks in the histogram at a spacing of one quantal unit.
1.1 Physics Relating to a quantum or quanta, or to quantum theory.
Example sentences
  • In this experiment UV + and UV - filters were chosen to yield equal quantal transmittance despite the difference in transmitted wavelengths.
1.2chiefly Physiology Relating to or denoting an all-or-none response or state.
Example sentences
  • Furthermore, it allows one to calculate the apparent quantal size for each response in a sequence of stimuli.
  • In this case, the quantal amplitude of postsynaptic response strongly depends on the number of accessible postsynaptic receptors in the vicinity of the release sites.
  • The extrasynaptic receptors that are exposed to a much lower concentration of agonist and are not saturated may substantially enhance the quantal synaptic response.



Pronunciation: /ˈkwäntl-ē/
Example sentences
  • Thus, a single Gag particle associates ‘quantally’ with one lipid raft, containing homogeneous trimeric viral envelope proteins, to assemble functional virions.
  • Analgesia was defined quantally as a doubling or greater of the baseline latency for each mouse.


Early 20th century: from quantum + -al.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: quan·tal

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