cell wall

noun

Definition of cell wall 

: the usually rigid nonliving permeable wall that surrounds the plasma membrane and encloses and supports the cells of most plants, bacteria, fungi, and algae — see cell illustration

Examples of cell wall in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

But once activated, the virus will reproduce and burst through the cell wall to infect surrounding cells. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Herpes Is Kind of Beautiful, On the Molecular Level," 6 Apr. 2018 Supercooling allows the mosquito to cool down below 32 degrees Fahrenheit without its cell walls bursting. Ned Rozell, Anchorage Daily News, "Only female mosquitoes bother us (and other facts about the insects Alaskans love to hate)," 7 July 2018 In this study, the team wanted to flag Gram-negative bacteria, which have a tougher cell wall and include difficult-to-treat infections like E. coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which can cause pneumonia. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "New “Immunobiotic” Could Treat Antibiotic-Resistant Superbugs," 6 July 2018 The wood cell walls become less rigid and more porous. Marissa Fessenden, Smithsonian, "New Super Wood Beats Metals in Feats of Strength," 10 Feb. 2018 When used as part of the defense system, lectins can bind to molecules present in the cell walls of attacking bacteria or fungi and destroy them. Katherine Pett, SELF, "Why Are People Suddenly Saying That Whole Grains Are Bad for Your Gut?," 9 May 2018 On the cell walls Kushner glimpsed pictures of Harley-Davidsons, relics of a former life. Naomi Fry, The New Yorker, "Rachel Kushner’s Immersive Fiction," 23 Apr. 2018 Recluse venom has an ingredient that breaks down cell walls. Maria Carter, Country Living, "7 Things You Need to Know About the Venomous Spider That Bit Meghan Linsey," 18 Apr. 2017 Hu has been probing the properties of nanocellulose, nanometer-scale versions of cellulose, the tough carbohydrate in the cell walls of plants that allows tree trunks to grow strong and tall. Amina Khan, latimes.com, "This is 'nanowood,' a new invention that could greatly reduce humanity's carbon footprint," 10 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cell wall.' 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 wall

1840, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

18 Sep 2018

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The first known use of cell wall was in 1840

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More Definitions for cell wall

cell wall

noun

Kids Definition of cell wall

: the firm outer nonliving layer that surrounds the cell membrane and encloses and supports the cells of most plants, bacteria, and fungi

cell wall

noun

Medical Definition of cell wall 

: the usually rigid nonliving permeable wall that surrounds the plasma membrane and encloses and supports the cells of most plants, bacteria, fungi, and algae

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