[ mak-ruh-feyj ]
/ ˈmæk rəˌfeɪdʒ /

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


mac·ro·phag·ic [mak-ruh-faj-ik] /ˌmæk rəˈfædʒ ɪk/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for macrophage

/ (ˈmækrəʊˌfeɪdʒ) /


any large phagocytic cell occurring in the blood, lymph, and connective tissue of vertebratesSee also histiocyte

Derived forms of macrophage

macrophagic (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

Medical definitions for macrophage

[ măkrə-fāj′ ]


Any of the large phagocytic cells found in the reticuloendothelial system.

Other words from macrophage

mac′ro•phagic (-făjĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for macrophage

[ măkrə-fāj′ ]

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.