B cell

noun

: any of the lymphocytes that have antigen-binding antibody molecules on the surface, that comprise the antibody-secreting plasma cells when mature, and that in mammals differentiate in the bone marrow : b lymphocyte
The glycoproteins produced by B cells, called antibodies or immunoglobulins, recognize and bind free antigens and are responsible for humoral immunity …Haruo Saito et al.
helper T cells that induce the proliferation of the antibody-producing B cells.N. A. Mitchison
… patients have no mature B cells circulating in the bloodstream and no antibodies to fight off infections.Jean Marx
compare t cell

Examples of B cell in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web First-line immune defenders, like neutrophils, need to be replaced after just four to eight hours, platelets can last a week, red blood cells up to four months, and some white blood cells, like memory B cells, live for decades. Megan Molteni, STAT, 22 Jan. 2024 Booster shots help B cells, which are immune cells, create antibodies that may target SARS-CoV-2 variants. Ayana Byrd, Health, 7 Jan. 2024 This is a monoclonal antibody treatment that works by depleting the blood’s B cells. Markham Heid, TIME, 27 Dec. 2023 Drugs like rituximab, which is also used in oncology and delivered by infusion, attack and kill certain immune cells, called CD20+ B cells. Isabella Cueto, STAT, 20 Dec. 2023 There are billions of B cells in the body; Immusoft uses only a portion. Emily Mullin, WIRED, 15 Dec. 2023 My research investigates how B cells are able to slip past the checkpoints the immune system has in place to guard against autoreactivity. Aimee Pugh Bernard, Discover Magazine, 24 Nov. 2023 Raskin himself was diagnosed with diffuse large B cell lymphoma late last year. Jenny Goldsberry, Washington Examiner, 13 Oct. 2023 These cells assist B cells to make antibodies, activate the microbe killing capacity of specialist cells and recruit other immune cells to infected parts of the body. Georgia Day, Vogue, 12 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'B cell.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

B probably from bursa-derived (produced by the bursa of Fabricius)

First Known Use

1962, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of B cell was in 1962

Dictionary Entries Near B cell

Cite this Entry

“B cell.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/B%20cell. Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

B cell

noun
ˈbē-ˌsel
: any of the lymphocytes that produce antigen-binding antibodies and that arise and mature in the bone marrow compare t cell

Medical Definition

B cell

noun
: any of the lymphocytes that have antigen-binding antibody molecules on the surface, that comprise the antibody-secreting plasma cells when mature, and that in mammals differentiate in the bone marrow

called also B lymphocyte

compare t cell

More from Merriam-Webster on B cell

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