- Biology. (no longer in technical use) the colloidal and liquid substance of which cells are formed, excluding horny, chitinous, and other structural material; the cytoplasm and nucleus.
- Obsolete. the living matter of organisms regarded as the physical basis of life, having the ability to sense and conduct stimuli.
Origin of protoplasm
Examples from the Web for protoplasm
Their protoplasm is contractile and their form varies according to the species.The Sexual Question
Without their spirit life might never have moved out of protoplasm.Howards End
E. M. Forster
The thing of protoplasm nearest me was moving but I was no longer interested.Cogito, Ergo Sum
John Foster West
Cytoplasm: the protoplasm of a cell exclusive of nucleus; the cell body.
Spongioplasm: the net-like structure of protoplasm in a cell.
- biology the living contents of a cell, differentiated into cytoplasm and nucleoplasm
Word Origin and History for protoplasm
The word was in Late Latin with a sense of "first created thing," and it might have existed in ecclesiastical Greek in a different sense. It was used 1839 by Czech physiologist Johannes Evangelista Purkinje (1787-1869) to denote the gelatinous fluid found in living tissue. The modern meaning is a refinement of this. This word prevailed, though German language purists preferred Urschleim "original mucus."
- The complex, semifluid, translucent substance that constitutes the living matter of plant and animal cells and manifests the essential life functions of a cell. Composed of proteins, fats, and other molecules suspended in water, it includes the nucleus and cytoplasm.
- The semifluid, translucent substance that forms the living matter in all plant and animal cells. Composed of proteins, fats, and other substances suspended in water, it includes the cytoplasm and (in eukaryotes) the nucleus.