cell

noun
\ ˈsel How to pronounce cell (audio) \

Definition of cell

1 : a small religious house dependent on a monastery or convent
2a : a one-room dwelling occupied by a solitary person (such as a hermit)
b : a single room (as in a convent or prison) usually for one person
3 : a small compartment, cavity, or bounded space: such as
a : one of the compartments of a honeycomb
b : a membranous area bounded by veins in the wing of an insect
4 : a small usually microscopic mass of protoplasm bounded externally by a semipermeable membrane, usually including one or more nuclei and various other organelles with their products, capable alone or interacting with other cells of performing all the fundamental functions of life, and forming the smallest structural unit of living matter capable of functioning independently
5a(1) : a receptacle containing electrodes and an electrolyte either for generating electricity by chemical action or for use in electrolysis
(2) : fuel cell
b : a single unit in a device for converting radiant energy into electrical energy or for varying the intensity of an electrical current in accordance with radiation (see radiation sense 1)
6 : a unit in a statistical array (see array entry 2 sense 5) (such as a spreadsheet) formed by the intersection of a column and a row
7 : a basic and usually small unit of an organization or movement terrorist cells
8 : a portion of the atmosphere that behaves as a unit a storm cell
9a : any of the small sections of a geographic area of a cellular (see cellular entry 1 sense 3) telephone system

Illustration of cell

Illustration of cell

cell 4 (schematic): A plant, B animal; 1 cell wall, 2 middle lamella, 3 plasma membrane, 4 mitochondrion, 5 vacuole, 6 Golgi apparatus, 7 cytoplasm, 8 nuclear membrane, 9 nucleolus, 10 nucleus, 11 chromatin, 12 endoplasmic reticulum with associated ribosomes, 13 chloroplast, 14 centriole, 15 lysosome

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Examples of cell in a Sentence

The suspect was in the police station's holding cell overnight. his mission was to locate and infiltrate the terrorist cell that was believed to be hiding in the city

Recent Examples on the Web

These blocked pores appear raised due to plugs of oil and dead skin cells trapped beneath the surface. Brennan Kilbane, Allure, "A Comprehensive Guide to the SkincareAddiction Subreddit," 5 Apr. 2019 Drug companies have spent big on chimeric antigen receptor T-cells, or CAR-T, cancer therapies. Charley Grant, WSJ, "Big Pharma’s Big Cancer Hope Is Fizzling," 8 Feb. 2019 Dasatinib and quercitin appear to work synergistically to target senescent cells, which seem not over time to develop a resistance to them, Kirkland said. Melissa Healy, latimes.com, "This drug cocktail reduced signs of age-related diseases and extended life in mice and human cells," 10 July 2018 Former detainees say there were several cells, some containing up to 70 people. Washington Post, "Yemen demands Emirates shut down prisons where abuses rife," 9 July 2018 But because retinol causes a quick turnover of skin cells, flaky skin might result. Adam Hurly, GQ, "How to Fix Your Dehydrated Skin," 3 July 2018 The lithium-ion cells caught fire again after the vehicle was taken to a storage yard. Fortune, "Tesla That Caught Fire in Florida Crash Reached 116 MPH," 26 June 2018 As part of their everyday functions, cell phones regularly transmit data to nearby cell towers, like submarines using sonar to navigate the ocean depths. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Supreme Court Cares About Your Digital Privacy," 22 June 2018 By altering the structure of key cellular machinery and injuring DNA, the radiation impairs the ability of cells to replicate and repair themselves. Daily Intelligencer, "This Is What a Nuclear Bomb Looks Like," 12 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cell.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cell

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cell

Middle English, from Old English, religious house and Anglo-French celle hermit's cell, from Latin cella small room; akin to Latin celare to conceal — more at hell

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Learn More about cell

Dictionary Entries near cell

celio-

Celite

celite

cell

cella

cellar

cellarage

Statistics for cell

Last Updated

19 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cell

The first known use of cell was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for cell

cell

noun

English Language Learners Definition of cell

: a room in a prison, jail, etc., where prisoners live or are kept
: a small room that one person (such as a monk or a nun) lives in
: any one of the very small parts that together form all living things

cell

noun
\ ˈsel How to pronounce cell (audio) \

Kids Definition of cell

1 : a very small room (as in a prison or a monastery)
2 : the basic structural unit of living things that is made up of cytoplasm enclosed by a membrane and that typically includes a nucleus and other smaller parts (as mitochondria or chloroplasts) which perform specific functions necessary for life
3 : a small enclosed part or division (as in a honeycomb)
4 : a container with substances which can produce an electric current by chemical action
5 : a device that converts light (as sunlight) that falls on it into electrical energy that is used as a power source

Other Words from cell

celled \ ˈseld \ adjective single-celled

cell

noun
\ ˈsel How to pronounce cell (audio) \

Medical Definition of cell

1 : a small compartment or bounded space
2 : a small usually microscopic mass of protoplasm bounded externally by a semipermeable membrane, usually including one or more nuclei and various nonliving products, capable alone or interacting with other cells of performing all the fundamental functions of life, and forming the smallest structural unit of living matter capable of functioning independently

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More from Merriam-Webster on cell

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cell

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cell

Spanish Central: Translation of cell

Nglish: Translation of cell for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cell for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about cell

Comments on cell

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