mast cell


: a granulocyte that occurs especially in connective tissue and has basophilic granules containing substances (such as histamine and heparin) which mediate allergic reactions

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Over-the-counter antihistamines can help patients with inflammatory problems such as mast cell activation syndrome. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, 26 Sep. 2022 The Facebook post's claim that COVID-19 pneumonia is a mast cell degranulation of the lungs is also wrong, according to Dr. Patricia Lugar, an allergy and immunologist specialist at Duke University. Sudiksha Kochi, USA TODAY, 1 Feb. 2022 The reaction begins when an antibody activates a component of the immune system known as a mast cell, which then blasts out a barrage of chemicals. Carl Zimmer, Discover Magazine, 20 July 2015 Valuable lessons can be learned from post-infectious diseases that long Covid often resembles: myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, or mast cell activation syndrome. Ryan Prior And Kimberly Knackstedt, STAT, 22 Aug. 2022 Hives are caused when a white blood cell known as a mast cell detects something interpreted as a foreign invader and releases a chemical called histamine. New York Times, 9 May 2022 Anderson suffers from a mast cell disorder, which means her body cannot easily regulate heat. Ko Lyn Cheang, The Indianapolis Star, 14 June 2022 Nine months after welcoming their first child with boyfriend Alev Aydin, Halsey has been diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Sjögren's syndrome, mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS), and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS). Rosa Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, 11 May 2022 The drug was approved to treat the three different subtypes of the blood disorder, which include mast cell leukemia., 16 June 2021 See More

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

Word History


partial translation of German Mastzelle, from Mast food, mast (from Old High German) + Zelle cell

First Known Use

circa 1890, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mast cell was circa 1890

Dictionary Entries Near mast cell

Cite this Entry

“Mast cell.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Mar. 2023.

Medical Definition

mast cell

: a granulocyte that occurs especially in connective tissue and has basophilic granules containing substances (as histamine and heparin) which mediate allergic reactions

More from Merriam-Webster on mast cell

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Challenging Standardized Test Words, Vol. 2

  • a pencil broken in half on top of a test answer sheet
  • The business’s new computer system proved not to be a panacea.
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?