[ plaz-muh ]
See synonyms for: plasmaplasmic on

  1. Anatomy, Physiology. the liquid part of blood or lymph, as distinguished from the suspended elements.

  2. Cell Biology. cytoplasm.

  1. a green, faintly translucent chalcedony.

  2. Physics. a highly ionized gas containing an approximately equal number of positive ions and electrons.

Origin of plasma

First recorded in 1705–15; from Late Latin, from Greek plásma “formed, molded (thing),” akin to plássein “to form, mold”; see plastic
  • Also plasm [plaz-uhm] /ˈplæz əm/ for defs. 1-3.

Other words from plasma

  • plas·mat·ic [plaz-mat-ik], /plæzˈmæt ɪk/, plasmic, adjective

Words Nearby plasma Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use plasma in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for plasma



/ (ˈplæzmə) /

  1. the clear yellowish fluid portion of blood or lymph in which the red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets are suspended

  2. short for blood plasma

  1. a former name for protoplasm, cytoplasm

  2. physics

    • a hot ionized material consisting of nuclei and electrons. It is sometimes regarded as a fourth state of matter and is the material present in the sun, most stars, and fusion reactors

    • the ionized gas in an electric discharge or spark, containing positive ions and electrons and a small number of negative ions together with un-ionized material

  3. a green slightly translucent variety of chalcedony, used as a gemstone

  4. a less common term for whey

Origin of plasma

C18: from Late Latin: something moulded, from Greek, from plassein to mould

Derived forms of plasma

  • plasmatic (plæzˈmætɪk) or plasmic, 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

Scientific definitions for plasma


[ plăz ]

  1. Protoplasm or cytoplasm.

  1. One of four main states of matter, similar to a gas, but consisting of positively charged ions with most or all of their detached electrons moving freely about. Plasmas are produced by very high temperatures, as in the Sun and other stars, and also by the ionization resulting from exposure to an electric current, as in a fluorescent light bulb or a neon sign. See more at state of matter.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for plasma (1 of 2)


[ (plaz-muh) ]

A state of matter in which some or all of the electrons have been torn from their parent atoms. The negatively charged electrons and positively charged ions move independently.

Notes for plasma

Plasmas are usually associated with very high temperatures — most of the sun is a plasma, for example.

[ (plaz-muh) ]

The liquid part of blood or lymph. Blood plasma is mainly water; it also contains gases, nutrients, and hormones. The red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets are all suspended in the plasma of the blood.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.