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[mak-ruh-feyj] /ˈmæk rəˌfeɪdʒ/
noun, Cell Biology.
a large white blood cell, occurring principally in connective tissue and in the bloodstream, that ingests foreign particles and infectious microorganisms by phagocytosis.
Origin of macrophage
From the New Latin word macrophagus, dating back to 1885-90. See macro-, -phage
Related forms
[mak-ruh-faj-ik] /ˌmæk rəˈfædʒ ɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for macrophage


any large phagocytic cell occurring in the blood, lymph, and connective tissue of vertebrates See also histiocyte
Derived Forms
macrophagic (ˌmækrəʊˈfædʒɪk) adjective
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
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Word Origin and History for macrophage

1890, from macro- + -phage.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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macrophage in Medicine

macrophage mac·ro·phage (māk'rə-fāj')
Any of the large phagocytic cells found in the reticuloendothelial system.

mac'ro·phag'ic (-fāj'ĭk) 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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macrophage in Science
Any of various large white blood cells that play an essential immunologic role in vertebrates and some lower organisms by eliminating cellular debris and particulate antigens, including bacteria, through phagocytosis. Macrophages develop from circulating monocytes that migrate from the blood into tissues throughout the body, especially the spleen, liver, lymph nodes, lungs, brain, and connective tissue. Macrophages also participate in the immune response by producing and responding to inflammatory cytokines.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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