killer cell


Definition of killer cell

: a lymphocyte (such as a killer T cell or a natural killer cell) with cytotoxic activity

Examples of killer cell in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The group of immune cells that surge during and after short bouts of exercise, which include neutrophils and natural-killer cells, serve as our frontline defense against invading viruses. Katarina Zimmer, Outside Online, "Supporting Your Immune System Is Simple," 27 Mar. 2020 The checkpoint inhibitors allow powerful immune cells to recognize and hone in on cancer cells and co-opt killer cells to destroy them. Alice Park, Time, "There's More Good News About Immune Therapies for Cancer," 12 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'killer cell.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of killer cell

1972, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of killer cell was in 1972

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Cite this Entry

“Killer cell.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for killer cell

killer cell


Medical Definition of killer cell

: a lymphocyte (as a cytotoxic T cell or a natural killer cell) with cytotoxic activity

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