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

Cellulose, the most abundant organic polymer on earth, is a major component of plant cell walls; lignin fills the spaces in those walls, providing strength and rigidity. Javier Garcia Martinez, Scientific American, "Bioplastics Could Solve a Major Pollution Problem," 1 July 2019 When a bacterium is killed by a viral infection, its cell wall explodes. Jonathan Lambert, WIRED, "Scientists Discover Nearly 200,000 Kinds of Ocean Viruses," 28 Apr. 2019 The two classes differ physiologically, especially in the composition of their cell walls. Caren Chesler, Popular Mechanics, "The Blood of the Crab," 23 Aug. 2019 When a bacterium is killed by a viral infection, its cell wall explodes. Jonathan Lambert, WIRED, "Scientists Discover Nearly 200,000 Kinds of Ocean Viruses," 28 Apr. 2019 When a bacterium is killed by a viral infection, its cell wall explodes. Quanta Magazine, "Scientists Discover Nearly 200,000 Kinds of Ocean Viruses," 25 Apr. 2019 Studies have shown that polystyrene nanoplastics ingested by aquatic organisms passed through cell walls. Stephen Leahy, National Geographic, "Microplastics are raining down from the sky," 15 Apr. 2019 Ironically, a study by the U.S. Geological Survey last fall found that when the Lake Okeechobee algae traveled through the St. Lucie River to the Atlantic Ocean, the saltwater damaged its cell walls, releasing its toxins. 3. Craig Pittman, sun-sentinel.com, "5 things to know about blue-green algae. (It’s bad. And it’s getting worse.)," 10 July 2019 Lab experiments have also shown nanoplastics cross cell walls in samples of human intestines. Stephen Leahy, National Geographic, "Microplastics are raining down from the sky," 15 Apr. 2019

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

2 Oct 2019

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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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