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(1) Relating to acetylcholine, e.g. cholinergic neuron.

(2) Producing physiological effects similar to acetylcholine, e.g. cholinergic drug.

(3) Activated by or capable of releasing acetylcholine.

noun, plural: cholinergics

(1) Nerve ending that releases acetylcholine.

(2) A substance that mimics the physiological effects of acetylcholine, or is capable of producing, altering, or releasing acetylcholine.


A cholinergic agent may act directly, e.g. by stimulating the acetylcholine receptors (the same way that the acetylcholine does), or indirectly by inhibiting cholinesterase, promoting the release of acetylcholine.

Word origin: (acetyl)choline + -ergic » Greek ergon, work.

Related forms: cholinergically (adverb).
Related terms: