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[foh-toh-sel] /ˈfoʊ toʊˌsɛl/
noun, Electronics.
a solid-state device that converts light into electrical energy by producing a voltage, as in a photovoltaic cell, or uses light to regulate the flow of current, as in a photoconductive cell: used in automatic control systems for doors, lighting, etc.
Origin of photocell
First recorded in 1890-95; photo- + cell1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for photocells
Historical Examples
  • Rose Thinker spun twice on her chair and opened her photocells wide.

    Bread Overhead Fritz Reuter Leiber
  • Eyes and photocells turned inquisitorially upon Roger Snedden.

    Bread Overhead Fritz Reuter Leiber
  • All the photocells on Earth and Venus and Mercury are at present busy storing the sun's power in atostors.

    The Ultimate Weapon John Wood Campbell
British Dictionary definitions for photocells


a device in which the photoelectric or photovoltaic effect or photoconductivity is used to produce a current or voltage when exposed to light or other electromagnetic radiation. They are used in exposure meters, burglar alarms, etc Also called photoelectric cell, electric eye
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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photocells in Science
See photoresistor.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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