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apoptosis

[ap-uh-toh-sis, ap-uh p‐]
noun
  1. a normal, genetically regulated process leading to the death of cells and triggered by the presence or absence of certain stimuli, as DNA damage.
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Origin of apoptosis

1970–75; New Latin < Greek apόptōsis a falling off, equivalent to apo- apo- + ptōsis ptosis
Also called programmed cell death.
Related formsap·op·tot·ic [ap-uh-tot-ik, ap-uh p‐] /ˌæp əˈtɒt ɪk, ˌæp əp‐/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for apoptosis

apoptosis

noun
  1. biology the programmed death of some of an organism's cells as part of its natural growth and developmentAlso called: programmed cell death
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Word Origin

C20: from Greek: a falling away, from apo- + ptōsis a falling
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

apoptosis in Science

apoptosis

[ăp′əp-tōsĭs, ăp′ə-tō-]
  1. A natural process of self-destruction in certain cells, such as epithelial cells and erythrocytes, that are genetically programmed to have a limited life span or are damaged. Apoptosis can be induced either by a stimulus, such as irradiation or toxic drugs, or by removal of a repressor agent. The cells disintegrate into membrane-bound particles that are then eliminated by phagocytosis. Also called programmed cell death
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

apoptosis in Culture

apoptosis

[(ap-uhp-toh-sis)]

The programmed death of a cell. Scientists believe that this process is governed by chemical signals a given cell receives from its neighbors.

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Note

It is thought some forms of cancer may result when this process of cell death is somehow interrupted, allowing cells to grow unchecked, with the result being a cancerous tumor.
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.