[ mi-sel ]
/ mɪˈsɛl /


Physical Chemistry. an electrically charged particle formed by an aggregate of molecules and occurring in certain colloidal electrolyte solutions, as those of soaps and detergents.

Origin of micelle

1880–85; < New Latin mīcella, equivalent to Latin mīc(a) crumb, grain + -ella -elle
Related formsmi·cel·lar, adjectivemi·cel·lar·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for micelle


micell micella (mɪˈsɛlə)

/ (mɪˈsɛl) /


  1. a charged aggregate of molecules of colloidal size in a solution
  2. any molecular aggregate of colloidal size, such as a particle found in coal
Derived Formsmicellar, adjective

Word Origin for micelle

C19: from New Latin micella, diminutive of Latin mīca crumb
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