me·​la·​no·​cyte | \ mə-ˈla-nə-ˌsīt How to pronounce melanocyte (audio) , ˈme-lə-nō- \

Definition of melanocyte

: an epidermal cell that produces melanin

Examples of melanocyte in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Melanin is produced by cells called melanocytes, which live in the base layer of our epidermis (the outermost layer of our skin). Rebecca Dancer, Allure, "Everything You Need to Know About Hyperpigmentation, According to Dermatologists," 13 Mar. 2020 The differentiated melanocytes in the hair bulb continued to pump out color. Popular Science, "We finally know why stress turns your hair white," 27 Jan. 2020 In each follicle of human hair are melanocyte stem cells (MeSCs), which differentiate into specialized cells called melanocytes. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian Magazine, "When Stressed Out, Mice’s Fur Turns Gray Quickly," 29 Jan. 2020 Melanoma is a type of cancer that starts in melanocytes, or pigment-producing cells in the skin. Maggie O'neill,, "This Man's Toe Started Bleeding After Someone Stepped On It—But It Turned Out to Be a Symptom of Melanoma," 6 Nov. 2019 Error 0: Melanoma comes from melanocytes, which are the skin cells that make melanin pigment (that produces skin color), Boulos said. Tracy Maness, Houston Chronicle, "Melanoma can affect all ages: education, protection important," 7 Jan. 2020 Skin color is determined by concentration of cells called melanocytes. Emily Matchar, Smithsonian, "Scientists 3D Print Skin That Develops Working Blood Vessels," 18 Nov. 2019 Ultraviolet light prompts melanocytes to churn out more melanin, which is why your melasma may get worse in the summer and better in the winter. Korin Miller, SELF, "What You Should Know About Melasma, Those Random Dark Spots on Your Face," 27 Aug. 2018 Melanosomes move from the melanocytes to different cells, like the epidermis, and deposit the pigments that give us the color of our skin, hair, and eyes. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Learned How to Reconstruct Long-Extinct Animals," 20 Aug. 2019

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

circa 1890, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for melanocyte

melano- + -cyte

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Time Traveler for melanocyte

Time Traveler

The first known use of melanocyte was circa 1890

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Cite this Entry

“Melanocyte.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for melanocyte


me·​la·​no·​cyte | \ mə-ˈlan-ə-ˌsīt How to pronounce melanocyte (audio) , ˈmel-ə-nō- How to pronounce melanocyte (audio) \

Medical Definition of melanocyte

: an epidermal cell that produces melanin — compare melanoblast

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