desmosome

noun

des·​mo·​some ˈdez-mə-ˌsōm How to pronounce desmosome (audio)
: a specialized structure of the cell membrane especially of an epithelial cell that serves as a zone of adhesion to anchor contiguous cells together
desmosomal adjective

Examples of desmosome in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The fruit acid penetrates into the layers of dead skin cells and breaks down the desmosomes which hold the layers together. Sam Escobar, Good Housekeeping, 27 Apr. 2016 These AHAs eat away and separate what are called desmosomes. Self, Glamour, 3 July 2017 Desmosomes are the fibers that bind the dead skin cells together. Self, Glamour, 3 July 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'desmosome.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

borrowed from German Desmosom, from Greek desmós "something that ties or attaches, (in plural) bonds, chain" + German -o- -o- + -som -some entry 3 — more at desmid

Note: The term was introduced by the Austrian anatomist and histologist Josef R. Schaffer (1861-1939) in Vorlesungen über Histologie und Histogenese nebst Bemerkungen über Histotechnik und das Mikroskop (Leipzig, 1920), p. 76.

First Known Use

circa 1932, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of desmosome was circa 1932

Dictionary Entries Near desmosome

Cite this Entry

“Desmosome.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/desmosome. Accessed 18 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition

desmosome

noun
des·​mo·​some ˈdez-mə-ˌsōm How to pronounce desmosome (audio)
: a specialized local thickening of the plasma membrane of an epithelial cell that serves to anchor contiguous cells together
desmosomal adjective

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