Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


1. Activated by or capable of liberating acetylcholine, especially in the parasympathetic nervous system.
2. Having physiological effects similar to those of acetylcholine: a cholinergic agent or drug.

[(acetyl)cholin(e) + -ergic.]

cho′li·ner′gi·cal·ly adv.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Physiology) denoting nerve fibres that release acetylcholine when stimulated
2. (Physiology) of or relating to the type of chemical activity associated with acetylcholine and similar substances
[C20: from (acetyl)cholin(e) + Greek ergon work]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˌkoʊ ləˈnɜr dʒɪk, ˌkɒl ə-)

1. resembling acetylcholine in physiological effect: a cholinergic drug.
2. releasing acetylcholine: a cholinergic neuron.
3. activated by acetylcholine: a cholinergic receptor.
[1930–35; (acetyl) choline + -ergic]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.cholinergic - releasing or activated by acetylcholine or a related compound
anticholinergic - inhibiting or blocking the action of acetylcholine at a receptor site; "anticholinergic drugs"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Prior evidence indicates that the brain's cholinergic circuits, which are involved in arousal, are especially perturbed, and that altered arousal affects both spontaneous pupil dilation/constriction and heart rate.
Karuna Pharmaceuticals, a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company, targets muscarinic cholinergic receptors for the treatment of Central Nervous System disorders.
Toronto-based molecular imaging and medicine company Enigma Biomedical Group (EBG) reported on Friday the launch of an exclusive license agreement for the global development and commercialisation of Merck's MK-6884 for use in Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans to measure cholinergic tone change in vivo.
It's known that the cholinergic system in the brain plays an important role in triggering this desynchronization.
Various researchers have suggested that cholinergic function may be improved by selective blockade of [M.sub.2] receptors alone or together with [M.sub.1] agonism in early stages of Alzheimer's disease.
Background: Previous studies demonstrate that eccrine sweat glands are innervated by both cholinergic and adrenergic nerves.
[1] A deficiency of intact cholinergic neurons, particularly those extending from subcortical areas like the nucleus of Meynert has been observed with progressive dementia.
For instance, the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and hippocampus receive a rich cholinergic input and are also heavily innervated by serotonergic, dopaminergic, noradrenergic, and histaminergic neurons [37].
The dysfunction of cholinergic neurons is associated with AD symptoms such as cognitive dysfunction, memory impairment, and learning disorders [25].
Browse Glaucoma Therapeutics Market by Drug Class (Alpha Agonist, Beta Blockers, Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitor, Cholinergic, Combined Medication, Prostaglandin Analogs), End Users (Ambulatory Surgical Centers, Hospitals, Ophthalmic Clinics) and Forecast 2017-2021 at
It is also an intermediate of the phosphatidylinositol cycle, a second-messenger neuronal signaling system used by noradrenergic, serotonergic, and cholinergic receptors.