noun Cell Biology.

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

From the New Latin word macrophagus, dating back to 1885–90. See macro-, -phage
Related formsmac·ro·phag·ic [mak-ruh-faj-ik] /ˌmæk rəˈfædʒ ɪk/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for macrophage



any large phagocytic cell occurring in the blood, lymph, and connective tissue of vertebratesSee also histiocyte
Derived Formsmacrophagic (ˌmækrəʊˈfædʒɪk), 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 macrophage

1890, from macro- + -phage.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

macrophage in Medicine




Any of the large phagocytic cells found in the reticuloendothelial system.
Related formsmac′ro•phagic (-făjĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

macrophage in Science



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.