- any cell, as a macrophage, that ingests and destroys foreign particles, bacteria, and cell debris.
Origin of phagocyte
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for phagocyte
In that article he expounded the phagocyte theory of immunity.
After five minutes the germ let go and the phagocyte slunk away.The Universe a Vast Electric Organism
George Woodward Warder
I believe that, this evening, the phagocyte theory is the richer by many friends.
The new-born “phagocyte theory” was thus very well received by naturalists and by Virchow, the father of cellular pathology.
However, the general impression of the Congress was clearly favourable to the phagocyte theory.
- an amoeboid cell or protozoan that engulfs particles, such as food substances or invading microorganisms
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
Word Origin and History for phagocyte
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- A cell, such as a white blood cell, that engulfs and absorbs waste material, harmful microorganisms, or other foreign bodies in the bloodstream and tissues.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
- Any of various organisms or specialized cells that engulf and ingest other cells or particles. In vertebrate animals, phagocytes are white blood cells that break down bacteria and other microorganisms, foreign particles, and cellular debris. These include monocytes, macrophages, and most granulocytes.♦ The process by which phagocytes engulf and break down bacteria or particles is called phagocytosis (făg′ə-sī-tō′sĭs). During phagocytosis the cell encloses foreign material and the extracellular fluid surrounding it by an infolding of a part of the cell membrane, which then pinches off to form a vesicle, called a phagosome. The phagosomes fuse with lysosomes, resulting in digestion of the ingested matter. Unicellular protists such as amoebas ingest food by the process of phagocytosis.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.