adipocyte

noun

ad·​i·​po·​cyte ˈa-di-pō-ˌsīt How to pronounce adipocyte (audio)
: a specialized cell of adipose tissue that stores excess energy in the form of triglyceride droplets and secretes various substances (such as leptin) that play a role in various physiological processes (such as regulation of food intake or lipid metabolism) : fat cell

Note: When the body requires additional energy, the droplets of triglycerides contained in adipocytes undergo enzymatic hydrolysis to produce free fatty acids and glycerol.

When we eat energy-rich foods, our bodies have to store any excess energy not burned up by physical activity. Most is stored as fat in adipocytes, but when these eventually fill up, excess lipid spills over into other tissues …Phyllida Brown
Leptin is an adipocyte-derived circulating hormone that provides information to the brain about energy stores.I. Sadaf Farooqi et al.

Word History

Etymology

probably borrowed from French, from adipo- adipo- + -cyte -cyte

First Known Use

1906, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of adipocyte was in 1906

Dictionary Entries Near adipocyte

Cite this Entry

“Adipocyte.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/adipocyte. Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition

adipocyte

noun
ad·​i·​po·​cyte ˈad-ə-pə-ˌsīt How to pronounce adipocyte (audio)
: a specialized cell of adipose tissue that stores excess energy in the form of triglyceride droplets and secretes various substances (as leptin) that play a role in various physiological processes (as regulation of food intake or lipid metabolism) : fat cell

Note: When the body requires additional energy, the droplets of triglycerides contained in adipocytes undergo enzymatic hydrolysis to produce free fatty acids and glycerol.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!