Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

protoplasm

[proh-tuh-plaz-uh m]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. 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.
  2. Obsolete. the living matter of organisms regarded as the physical basis of life, having the ability to sense and conduct stimuli.
Show More

Origin of protoplasm

From the New Latin word prōtoplasma, dating back to 1840–50. See proto-, -plasm
Related formspro·to·plas·mic, pro·to·plas·mal, pro·to·plas·mat·ic [proh-toh-plaz-mat-ik] /ˌproʊ toʊ plæzˈmæt ɪk/, adjectivein·ter·pro·to·plas·mic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for protoplasmic

Historical Examples

  • Protoplasmic movements, you know, and unicellular plants and animals.

    The Bacillus of Beauty

    Harriet Stark

  • A neurone35 is a protoplasmic cell, with its outgrowing fibers.

    The Mind and Its Education

    George Herbert Betts

  • Yet even this protoplasmic life must see the changing shapes of things.

    Eight Keys to Eden

    Mark Irvin Clifton

  • Have we then any suggestion as to the method of the origin of this protoplasmic machine?

  • His cross-eyes, his crooked nose, his artistic talents—all these pre-existed in the form of a protoplasmic cell.

    Reincarnation

    Swami Abhedananda


British Dictionary definitions for protoplasmic

protoplasm

noun
  1. biology the living contents of a cell, differentiated into cytoplasm and nucleoplasm
Show More
Derived Formsprotoplasmic, adjective

Word Origin

C19: from New Latin, from proto- + Greek plasma form
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 protoplasmic

protoplasm

n.

1848, from German Protoplasma (1846), used by German botanist Hugo von Mohl (1805-1872), on notion of "first-formed," from Greek proto- "first" (see proto-) + plasma "something molded" (see -plasm).

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."

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

protoplasmic in Medicine

protoplasm

(prōtə-plăz′əm)
n.
  1. 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.
Show More
Related formspro′to•plasmic (-plăzmĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

protoplasmic in Science

protoplasm

[prōtə-plăz′əm]
  1. 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.
Show More
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

protoplasmic in Culture

protoplasm

[(proh-tuh-plaz-uhm)]

The jellylike material in a cell, both inside and outside the nucleus, where the chemical reactions that support life take place.

Show More
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.