[fag-uh-sahy-tohs, -tohz]

verb (used with object), phag·o·cy·tosed, phag·o·cy·tos·ing.

Origin of phagocytose

First recorded in 1930–35; back formation from phagocytosis




Physiology. the ingestion of a smaller cell or cell fragment, a microorganism, or foreign particles by means of the local infolding of a cell's membrane and the protrusion of its cytoplasm around the fold until the material has been surrounded and engulfed by closure of the membrane and formation of a vacuole: characteristic of amebas and some types of white blood cells.

Origin of phagocytosis

First recorded in 1890–95; phagocyte + -osis Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for phagocytoses



the process by which a cell, such as a white blood cell, ingests microorganisms, other cells, and foreign particles
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

phagocytoses in Medicine


[făgə-sĭ-tōs′, -tōz′, -sī′tōs, -tōz]


To phagocytize.




The engulfing and ingestion of bacteria or other foreign bodies by phagocytes.
Related formsphag′o•cy•totic (-tŏtĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.