[ sin-sish-uh m, -ee-uh m ]
/ sɪnˈsɪʃ əm, -i əm /

noun, plural syn·cy·tia [sin-sish-uh, -sish-ee-uh] /sɪnˈsɪʃ ə, -ˈsɪʃ i ə/. Biology.

a multinucleate mass of cytoplasm that is not separated into cells.

Nearby words

  1. syncretize,
  2. syncrisis,
  3. syncytial,
  4. syncytial knot,
  5. syncytiotrophoblast,
  6. synd,
  7. synd.,
  8. syndactyl,
  9. syndactylia,
  10. syndactylism

Origin of syncytium

From New Latin, dating back to 1875–80; see origin at syn-, cyto-, -ium

Related formssyn·cy·tial [sin-sish-uh l] /sɪnˈsɪʃ əl/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for syncytial


/ (sɪnˈsɪtɪəm) /

noun plural -cytia (-ˈsɪtɪə)

zoology a mass of cytoplasm containing many nuclei and enclosed in a cell membrane
Derived Formssyncytial, adjective

Word Origin for syncytium

C19: New Latin; see syn-, cyto-, -ium

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

Word Origin and History for syncytial



1895, "pertaining to a syncytium" (1877), Modern Latin, from Greek syn "together" (see syn-) + kytos "receptacle, vessel," used in biology for "cell" (see cyto-).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for syncytial


[ sĭn-sĭshē-əm ]

n. pl. syn•cy•ti•a (-sĭshē-ə)

A mass of cytoplasm having many nuclei but no internal cell boundaries.
Related formssyn•cyti•al adj.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.