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noun Physiology, Biology.
  1. a receptor stimulated by light.

Origin of photoreceptor

First recorded in 1905–10; photo- + receptor
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for photoreceptor


  1. zoology physiol a light-sensitive cell or organ that conveys impulses through the sensory neuron connected to it
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

photoreceptor in Medicine


([object Object])
  1. A nerve ending, cell, or group of cells specialized to sense or receive light.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

photoreceptor in Science


  1. A specialized structure or cell that is sensitive to light. In vertebrate animals, the photoreceptors are the rods and cones of the eye's retina. See Note at circadian rhythm.
  2. An electronic device that converts light energy into electrical signals. Photoreceptors are used in photocopy and facsimile machines, cameras, and solar cells.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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