stem cell


noun Cell Biology.

a cell that upon division replaces its own numbers and also gives rise to cells that differentiate further into one or more specialized types, as various B cells and T cells.

Origin of stem cell

First recorded in 1880–85 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for stem cell

Contemporary Examples of stem cell

  • It launches curricular reviews and stem-cell initiatives; it raises money, and buys up property (or at least, it used to).

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Truth Behind 'The Social Network'

    Rebecca Davis O'Brien

    September 8, 2010

  • Many women who undergo IVF either discard their leftover embryos or donate them for stem-cell research.

    The Daily Beast logo
    10 Ways to Have a Baby

    Doree Shafrir

    September 13, 2009

  • Maybe they would, but this has played absolutely no part in the stem-cell debate.

    The Daily Beast logo
    New York Times' New Columnist Is Full of It

    Michael Kinsley

    March 16, 2009

  • Now, Rich writes, “when Barack Obama ended the Bush stem-cell policy last week, there were no such overheated theatrics.”

    The Daily Beast logo
    Who Made Frank Rich God?

    Lee Siegel

    March 16, 2009

  • I am often criticized for previously voting for John Kerry and my support of stem-cell research.

    The Daily Beast logo
    My Beef With Ann Coulter

    Meghan McCain

    March 9, 2009

British Dictionary definitions for stem cell

stem cell


histology an undifferentiated cell that gives rise to specialized cells, such as blood cells
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

stem cell in Medicine

stem cell


An unspecialized cell that gives rise to a specific specialized cell, such as a blood cell.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

stem cell in Science

stem cell

An unspecialized cell found in fetuses, embryos, and some adult body tissues that has the potential to develop into specialized cells or divide into other stem cells. Stem cells from fetuses or embryos can develop into any type of differentiated cells, while those found in mature tissues develop only into specific cells. Stem cells can potentially be used to replace tissue damaged or destroyed by disease or injury, but the use of embryonic stem cells for this purpose is controversial. Also called progenitor cell
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

stem cell in Culture

stem cell

A cell from which a variety of other cells can develop through the process of cellular differentiation. Stem cells can produce only a certain group of cells (as with skin stem cells) or any cell in the body (as with embryonic stem cells).


A major controversy involves the question of whether nonembryonic stem cells should be used for medical purposes.
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.