germ cell


Definition of germ cell

: a gamete (such as an egg or sperm cell) or one of its antecedent cells

Examples of germ cell in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Infections, toxins or just old age can affect germ cells and produce offspring that are less healthy in various ways. Quanta Magazine, "Can Darwinian Evolution Explain Lamarckism?," 11 May 2017 Any mutations occurring in the dividing cells of a stem will be locked into the germ cells and can pass on to the next generation. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "Meet the monkeyflower, a weed that may hold the key to zebra stripes and other biological mysteries," 29 Aug. 2019 But flowers, which contain both kinds of germ cells—pollen and ova—form from active somatic tissue at the tips of growing stems. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "Meet the monkeyflower, a weed that may hold the key to zebra stripes and other biological mysteries," 29 Aug. 2019 Early during an embryo’s development, the germ cells — which are basically the cellular grandparents or great grandparents of sperm — travel to the nascent gonads. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "Transplanted testicles will always make the donor’s sperm," 26 Apr. 2018 But baby mice do not a human make, and Saitou and another scientist, Azim Surani, are each working directly with human cells, trying to understand the differences between how mice and human iPSCs become primordial germ cells. Jason Pontin, WIRED, "Science Is Getting Us Closer to the End of Infertility," 27 Mar. 2018 Transgenerational inheritance is even easier in small organisms that do not go through a germ cell stage, such as bacteria. Quanta Magazine, "Solution: ‘Darwinian Evolution Explains Lamarckism’," 2 June 2017 And germ cell growths are usually benign tumors called mature teratomas, the ACS explains. Korin Miller, SELF, "The Three Types of Ovarian Cancer You Should Know," 1 Nov. 2018 In nature, they're formed from primordial germ cells and can be seen as precursors to egg cells. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Take Major Step Towards Making Babies From Skin Cells," 21 Sep. 2018

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

1851, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for germ cell

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The first known use of germ cell was in 1851

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Statistics for germ cell

Last Updated

2 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Germ cell.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 13 December 2019.

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More Definitions for germ cell

germ cell


Kids Definition of germ cell

: a cell (as an egg or sperm cell) that contributes to the formation of a new individual

germ cell


Medical Definition of germ cell

: an egg or sperm cell or one of their antecedent cells

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More from Merriam-Webster on germ cell

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with germ cell

Spanish Central: Translation of germ cell

Nglish: Translation of germ cell for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about germ cell

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easily led, controlled, or managed

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