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[awr-guh-nel, awr-guh-nel] /ˌɔr gəˈnɛl, ˈɔr gəˌnɛl/
Cell Biology. a specialized part of a cell having some specific function; a cell organ.
Origin of organelle
1905-10; < New Latin organella, diminutive of Latin organum organ; see -elle Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for organelle


a structural and functional unit, such as a mitochondrion, in a cell or unicellular organism
Word Origin
C20: from New Latin organella, from Latin organum: see organ
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 organelle

1909, from Modern Latin organella, a diminutive from Latin organum "instrument," in Medieval Latin "organ of the body" (see organ).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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organelle in Medicine

organelle or·gan·elle (ôr'gə-něl')
A differentiated structure within a cell, such as a mitochondrion, vacuole, or microsome, that performs a specific function. Also called organoid.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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organelle in Science
A structure or part that is enclosed within its own membrane inside a cell and has a particular function. Organelles are found only in eukaryotic cells and are absent from the cells of prokaryotes such as bacteria. The nucleus, the mitochondrion, the chloroplast, the Golgi apparatus, the lysosome, and the endoplasmic reticulum are all examples of organelles. Some organelles, such as mitochondria and chloroplasts, have their own genome (genetic material) separate from that found in the nucleus of the cell. Such organelles are thought to have their evolutionary origin in symbiotic bacteria or other organisms that have become a permanent part of the cell.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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