AskDefine | Define receptor

Dictionary Definition



1 a cellular structure that is postulated to exist in order to mediate between a chemical agent that acts on nervous tissue and the physiological response
2 an organ having nerve endings (in the skin or viscera or eye or ear or nose or mouth) that respond to stimulation [syn: sense organ, sensory receptor] [ant: effector]

User Contributed Dictionary



From receptour or receptor.




  1. In the context of "biochemistry|medicine": A structure on a cell wall that binds with specific molecules so that they can be absorbed into the cell in order to control certain functions.
    • 2001: In the target organ, the drug is recognised by ‘receptors’. These are large molecules, usually proteins, to which the drug binds tightly and with a high degree of specificity. — Leslie Iversen, Drugs: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford 2001, p. 24)
  2. Any specialized cell or structure that responds to sensory stimuli.

Related terms


a structure on a cell wall that responds to sensory stimuli
any specialized cell or structure that responds to sensory stimuli

Extensive Definition

Receptor may refer to:
  • Sensory receptor, in physiology, any structure which, on receiving environmental stimuli, produces an informative nerve impulse
  • Receptor (biochemistry), in biochemistry, a protein molecule that receives and responds to a neurotransmitter, or other substance
  • Receptor (immunology), a molecule on the surface of an immunocyte which binds its ligand
receptor in Arabic: مستقبل
receptor in French: Récepteur
receptor in Lithuanian: Receptorius
receptor in Occitan (post 1500): Receptor
receptor in Romanian: Receptor
receptor in Slovenian: Receptor
receptor in Finnish: Reseptori
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