- a large white blood cell, occurring principally in connective tissue and in the bloodstream, that ingests foreign particles and infectious microorganisms by phagocytosis.
Origin of macrophage
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- any large phagocytic cell occurring in the blood, lymph, and connective tissue of vertebratesSee also histiocyte
Word Origin and History for macrophage
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- Any of the large phagocytic cells found in the reticuloendothelial system.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
- Any of various large white blood cells that play an essential immunologic role in vertebrates and some lower organisms by eliminating cellular debris and particulate antigens, including bacteria, through phagocytosis. Macrophages develop from circulating monocytes that migrate from the blood into tissues throughout the body, especially the spleen, liver, lymph nodes, lungs, brain, and connective tissue. Macrophages also participate in the immune response by producing and responding to inflammatory cytokines.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.