plasma

[ plaz-muh ]
/ ˈplæz mə /

noun

Anatomy, Physiology. the liquid part of blood or lymph, as distinguished from the suspended elements.
Cell Biology. cytoplasm.
a green, faintly translucent chalcedony.
Physics. a highly ionized gas containing an approximately equal number of positive ions and electrons.
Also plasm [plaz-uh m] /ˈplæz əm/ for defs 1–3.

Origin of plasma

1705–15; < Late Latin < Greek plásma something molded or formed, akin to plássein to form, mold. See plastic

Related forms

plas·mat·ic [plaz-mat-ik] /plæzˈmæt ɪk/, plas·mic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for plasma

British Dictionary definitions for plasma

plasma

plasm

/ (ˈplæzmə) /

noun

the clear yellowish fluid portion of blood or lymph in which the red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets are suspended
short for blood plasma
a former name for protoplasm, cytoplasm
physics
  1. 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
  2. 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
a green slightly translucent variety of chalcedony, used as a gemstone
a less common term for whey

Derived Forms

plasmatic (plæzˈmætɪk) or plasmic, adjective

Word Origin for plasma

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

plasma

[ plăzmə ]

n.

The clear, yellowish fluid portion of blood, lymph, or intramuscular fluid in which cells are suspended.
Cell-free, sterilized blood plasma, used in transfusions.
Protoplasm or cytoplasm.

Related forms

plas•matic (plăz-mătĭk) null adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for plasma

plasma

[ plăzmə ]

See blood plasma.
Protoplasm or cytoplasm.
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.

Culture definitions for plasma (1 of 2)

plasma

[ (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.


Note

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

Culture definitions for plasma (2 of 2)

plasma

[ (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.