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[mak-roh-noo-klee-uh s, -nyoo-]
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noun Biology.
  1. the larger of the two types of nuclei occurring in ciliate protozoans, having a multiple set of chromosomes and functioning in cell metabolism and protein synthesis.
Compare micronucleus.

Origin of macronucleus

From New Latin, dating back to 1890–95; see origin at macro-, nucleus
Related formsmac·ro·nu·cle·ar, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for macronucleus


noun plural -clei (-klɪˌaɪ)
  1. the larger of the two nuclei in ciliated protozoansCompare micronucleus
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

macronucleus in Medicine


([object Object])
  1. The larger of two nuclei present in ciliate protozoans, which controls the nonreproductive functions of the cell.
Related formsmac′ro•nucle•ar adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

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