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 Investigators identified 19-year-old Jordan Treveon Armstead of Opelika as the suspect involved in the security fence and cell wall breach. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "4 charged in contraband smuggling scheme at Lee County Detention Center," 13 Nov. 2020 Before a virus can inject its RNA into a cell, the spike must effectively unzip, exposing two chains of amino acids, in order to fuse to the cell wall. Donald G. Mcneil Jr., New York Times, "Nasal Spray Prevents Covid Infection in Ferrets, Study Finds," 5 Nov. 2020 Each receptor, ingenious in its design, recognized some characteristic microbial or viral signature—a kink in a virus’s RNA, a crenellation in a microbial cell wall. James Somers, The New Yorker, "How the Coronavirus Hacks the Immune System," 2 Nov. 2020 Each has a thick lignified, or rigid, cell wall (green), which provides structural support to the stem or plant body. Andrea Gawrylewski, Scientific American, "Bundles of Plant-Water-Transportation Cells Resemble Snake Eyes," 9 Oct. 2020 Pollia arranges a common ingredient in its cell wall, cellulose, into precise stacks to achieve its shiny cerulean tone. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "Structural Complexity Gives This Fruit Its Metallic Blue Color," 14 Aug. 2020 After multiplying inside a bacterium, phages use lysins to break through the cell wall of their host, instantly killing it. Claudia Wallis, Scientific American, "The Virtuous Side of Viruses," 26 May 2020 For tasks such as testing drug reactions or modifying DNA, scientists must first breach protective cell walls. Sophie Bushwick, Scientific American, "DIY Tool Lets High Schoolers Practice Gene Editing," 7 May 2020 Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak Antibiotics, which are used to fight bacterial infections, attack the bacteria's cell walls, block protein production and stop bacteria from reproducing. NBC News, "Why are viruses hard to kill? Virologists explain why these tiny parasites are so tough to treat," 7 May 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of cell wall

1840, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cell wall

Time Traveler for cell wall

Time Traveler

The first known use of cell wall was in 1840

See more words from the same year

Statistics for cell wall

Last Updated

22 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cell wall.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cell%20wall. Accessed 29 Nov. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

More from Merriam-Webster on cell wall

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about cell wall

Comments on cell wall

What made you want to look up cell wall? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a traditional thanksgiving dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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