• synonyms


noun Anatomy.
  1. a type of white blood cell having a large, spherical nucleus surrounded by a thin layer of nongranular cytoplasm.
Show More
Compare B cell, T cell.

Origin of lymphocyte

First recorded in 1885–90; lympho- + -cyte
Related formslym·pho·cyt·ic [lim-fuh-sit-ik] /ˌlɪm fəˈsɪt ɪk/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for lymphocyte

Historical Examples of lymphocyte

  • When large forms of the lymphocyte are present, the distinction is often difficult or impossible.

    A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis

    James Campbell Todd

  • The macrocyte is believed by many to represent a further stage in the development of the lymphocyte.

British Dictionary definitions for lymphocyte


  1. a type of white blood cell formed in lymphoid tissueSee also B-lymphocyte, T-lymphocyte
Show More
Derived Formslymphocytic (ˌlɪmfəʊˈsɪtɪk), adjective
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 lymphocyte


cell found in the lymph, 1890, from Latin lympho- (see lymph) + -cyte (see cyto-).

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

lymphocyte in Medicine


  1. Any of the nearly colorless cells formed in lymphoid tissue, as in the lymph nodes, spleen, thymus, and tonsils, constituting between 22 and 28 percent of all white blood cells in the blood of a normal adult human. They function in the development of immunity and include two specific types, B cells and T cells.
Show More
Related formslym′pho•cytic (-sĭtĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

lymphocyte in Science


  1. Any of various white blood cells, including B cells and T cells, that function in the body's immune system by recognizing and deactivating specific foreign substances called antigens. B cells act by stimulating the production of antibodies. T cells contain receptors on their cell surfaces that are capable of recognizing and binding to specific antigens. Lymphocytes are found in the lymph nodes and spleen and circulate continuously in the blood and lymph.
Show More
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.