chlo·​ro·​plast | \ ˈklȯr-ə-ˌplast How to pronounce chloroplast (audio) \

Definition of chloroplast

: a plastid that contains chlorophyll and is the site of photosynthesis — see cell illustration

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Other Words from chloroplast

chloroplastic \ ˌklȯr-​ə-​ˈpla-​stik How to pronounce chloroplastic (audio) \ adjective

Examples of chloroplast in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Energy-producing mitochondria power all complex cells; chloroplasts, where photosynthesis takes place, make plant life possible. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "A love of insects and their microbial partners helped this biologist reveal secrets of symbiosis," 14 Nov. 2019 When eukaryotic cells first absorbed the cyanobacteria that became chloroplast—a light-absorbing organelle—photosynthesis became a powerful driver of life on Earth. Viviane Callier, Smithsonian, "This Type of Algae Absorbs More Light for Photosynthesis Than Other Plants," 23 Oct. 2019 Some come from the bacteria that were incorporated as mitochondria and chloroplasts. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "We’ve finally gotten a look at the microbe that might have been our ancestor," 7 Aug. 2019 In 1966, Margulis provided evidence that mitochondria, molecular machines that help cells produce energy, and chloroplasts, which help plant cells turn sunlight into sugar, originated from symbiotic bacteria. Carrie Arnold, Quanta Magazine, "Evolving With a Little Help From Our Friends," 4 June 2014 The nanotube method is far more elegant and even managed to insert genes into chloroplasts, the organelles in plant cells responsible for photosynthesis. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "An Advance in Bioengineering Could Pave the Way for Tomorrow’s Superplants," 12 Mar. 2019 In high tide, when less light reaches the alga, the crystals may capture some of the sunlight and pass it on to the surrounding chloroplasts for photosynthesis. Kai Kupferschmidt, Science | AAAS, "Scientists uncover the secret behind shimmering seaweed," 13 Apr. 2018 For plants, researchers often build two phylogenetic trees: one for the DNA stores in the nucleus of the plant's cells and one for the chlorophyll-producing organelles called chloroplasts, which have their own DNA. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Polynesians may not have gone grocery shopping in South America," 12 Apr. 2018 But the smaller protein is encoded in the DNA of the cell's nucleus and made outside the chloroplast. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "We may now be able to engineer the most important lousy enzyme on the planet," 7 Dec. 2017

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

1887, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for chloroplast

International Scientific Vocabulary

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Time Traveler for chloroplast

Time Traveler

The first known use of chloroplast was in 1887

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Statistics for chloroplast

Last Updated

3 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Chloroplast.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 7 December 2019.

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More Definitions for chloroplast


chlo·​ro·​plast | \ ˈklȯr-ə-ˌplast How to pronounce chloroplast (audio) \

Kids Definition of chloroplast

: one of the tiny parts in a plant cell that contains chlorophyll and is the place where photosynthesis occurs


chlo·​ro·​plast | \ ˈklōr-ə-ˌplast, ˈklȯr- How to pronounce chloroplast (audio) \

Medical Definition of chloroplast

: a plastid that contains chlorophyll and is the site of photosynthesis and starch formation

Other Words from chloroplast

chloroplastic \ ˌklōr-​ə-​ˈplas-​tik, ˌklȯr-​ How to pronounce chloroplastic (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on chloroplast Encyclopedia article about chloroplast

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