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

Typical antibiotics work by breaking up bacteria cell walls, which cause those bacteria to fall apart and die. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Researchers Discover Method to Make Bacteria Harmless," 18 Oct. 2018 Beta-lactam works by weakening the cell wall of the creature under attack. Jonathon Keats, Discover Magazine, "Bacteria That Eat Drugs Could Help Solve the Antibiotic Resistance Crisis," 8 Nov. 2018 Graffiti were scrawled on cell walls — names, greetings to families and crude calendars as inmates counted days. Bassem Mroue, Fox News, "Clues but no answers in one of Syria war's biggest mysteries," 13 Aug. 2018 These channels and cell walls collapse during the heat-and-squeeze part of the researchers' process and new hydrogen bonds form between cellulose molecules, toughening the material. Marissa Fessenden, Smithsonian, "New Super Wood Beats Metals in Feats of Strength," 10 Feb. 2018 BETA GLUCANS Long-chain sugar molecules found in the cell walls of bacteria, fungi, yeasts, algae, lichens, and grains, such as oats and barley. Allure, "The Skin-Care Glossary: A Comprehensive Guide to Everything You Need to Know," 17 Aug. 2018 When scientists figured out a way to get NAD+ through the cell walls of mice, the result was healthier mice with more brain, skin, and other stem cells and a slightly longer life span. Sophie Weiner, Popular Mechanics, "How Scientists Will Beat Aging in Our Lifetimes," 4 Nov. 2017 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

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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Time Traveler for cell wall

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

More from Merriam-Webster on cell wall

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cell wall

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about cell wall

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