- 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 phagocytic
Phagocytic action is promoted by an increase in the leucocytes.
Some of the reasons for this are as follows: The limit of error in phagocytic counts may be as great as 50 per cent.The Fundamentals of Bacteriology
Charles Bradfield Morrey
In incipient cases the tubercles might be as readily absorbed as catgut ligature, and the germs, if any, fall to phagocytic prey.
Phagocytic cells are almost always present and may be of the “wandering” or of the more fixed connective-tissue type.Scurvy Past and Present
Alfred Fabian Hess
Again, the function of this mesothelium apart from the germ-cell is essentially excretory and phagocytic.The Origin of Vertebrates
Walter Holbrook Gaskell
- 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 phagocytic
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- Of or relating to phagocytes.
- Of, relating to, or characterized by phagocytosis.
- 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.