[ fag-uh-sahy-toh-sis ]
/ ˌfæg ə saɪˈtoʊ sɪs /


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.

Nearby words

  1. phagocytic pneumonocyte,
  2. phagocytin,
  3. phagocytize,
  4. phagocytolysis,
  5. phagocytose,
  6. phagolysosome,
  7. phagomania,
  8. phagosome,
  9. phainopepla,
  10. phaistos

Origin of phagocytosis

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

Examples from the Web for phagocytosis

British Dictionary definitions for phagocytosis


/ (ˌfæɡəsaɪˈtəʊsɪs) /


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

Medicine definitions for phagocytosis


[ făg′ə-sī-tōsĭs ]


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.