Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

phagocyte

[fag-uh-sahyt]
See more synonyms for phagocyte on Thesaurus.com
noun Cell Biology.
  1. any cell, as a macrophage, that ingests and destroys foreign particles, bacteria, and cell debris.
Show More

Origin of phagocyte

First recorded in 1880–85; phago- + -cyte
Related formsphag·o·cyt·ic [fag-uh-sit-ik] /ˌfæg əˈsɪt ɪk/, adjectivenon·phag·o·cyt·ic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for phagocyte

Historical Examples

  • In that article he expounded the phagocyte theory of immunity.

    Life of Elie Metchnikoff, 1845-1916

    Olga Metchnikoff

  • After five minutes the germ let go and the phagocyte slunk away.

  • I believe that, this evening, the phagocyte theory is the richer by many friends.

  • The new-born “phagocyte theory” was thus very well received by naturalists and by Virchow, the father of cellular pathology.

  • However, the general impression of the Congress was clearly favourable to the phagocyte theory.


British Dictionary definitions for phagocyte

phagocyte

noun
  1. an amoeboid cell or protozoan that engulfs particles, such as food substances or invading microorganisms
Show More
Derived Formsphagocytic (ˌfæɡəˈsɪtɪk), 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 phagocyte

n.

1884, from German phagocyten (plural), coined in German in 1884 by Dr. Elias Metchnikoff (1845-1916) from Greek phago- "eating, devouring" (see -phagous) + -cyte (see cyto-). Related: Phagocytosis.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

phagocyte in Medicine

phagocyte

(făgə-sīt′)
n.
  1. A cell, such as a white blood cell, that engulfs and absorbs waste material, harmful microorganisms, or other foreign bodies in the bloodstream and tissues.
Show More
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

phagocyte in Science

phagocyte

[făgə-sīt′]
  1. Any of various organisms or specialized cells that engulf and ingest other cells or particles. In vertebrate animals, phagocytes are white blood cells that break down bacteria and other microorganisms, foreign particles, and cellular debris. These include monocytes, macrophages, and most granulocytes.♦ The process by which phagocytes engulf and break down bacteria or particles is called phagocytosis (făg′ə-sī-tōsĭs). During phagocytosis the cell encloses foreign material and the extracellular fluid surrounding it by an infolding of a part of the cell membrane, which then pinches off to form a vesicle, called a phagosome. The phagosomes fuse with lysosomes, resulting in digestion of the ingested matter. Unicellular protists such as amoebas ingest food by the process of phagocytosis.
Show More
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.