mitochondrion

noun
mi·​to·​chon·​dri·​on | \ ˌmī-tə-ˈkän-drē-ən How to pronounce mitochondrion (audio) \
plural mitochondria\ ˌmī-​tə-​ˈkän-​drē-​ə How to pronounce mitochondria (audio) \

Definition of mitochondrion

: any of various round or long cellular organelles of most eukaryotes that are found outside the nucleus, produce energy for the cell through cellular respiration, and are rich in fats, proteins, and enzymes — see cell illustration

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Other Words from mitochondrion

mitochondrial \ ˌmī-​tə-​ˈkän-​drē-​əl How to pronounce mitochondrial (audio) \ adjective

Examples of mitochondrion in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The mitochondria are like factories that manufacture ATP. Joshua Selsby, CNN, "White meat, or dark meat? The science behind a delicious debate," 27 Nov. 2019 The mitochondria are like factories that manufacture ATP. Joshua Selsby, CNN, "White meat, or dark meat? The science behind a delicious debate," 27 Nov. 2019 The mitochondria are like factories that manufacture ATP. Joshua Selsby, CNN, "White meat, or dark meat? The science behind a delicious debate," 27 Nov. 2019 The mitochondria are like factories that manufacture ATP. Joshua Selsby, The Conversation, "Light versus dark – the color of the turkey meat is due to the job of the muscle," 21 Nov. 2019 This sort of activity is supported by a different means of ATP production -- one that does not heavily rely on mitochondria or require oxygen. Joshua Selsby, CNN, "White meat, or dark meat? The science behind a delicious debate," 27 Nov. 2019 After elongating in response to the nutrient deficiency, the mitochondria lose their cristae (the little folds on their inside) and ball up. Jeffery Delviscio, Scientific American, "A Flash on Jupiter, the Death of Mitochondria and the World under Your Skin: The Week’s Best Science GIFs," 16 Aug. 2019 During some of the heated sessions, medical doctors and anti-aging researchers argued loudly across the conference room about biomarkers, enzymes, telomerase endings of genes, and how far mitochondria might be manipulated. Zoltan Istvan, Quartz, "Rich people shouldn’t be the only ones who get to live forever," 29 July 2019 For decades, detectives used DNA from Y chromosomes and mitochondria to identify potential perpetrators, but both methods had limitations. Allysia Finley, WSJ, "The Making of a DNA Detective," 15 Feb. 2019

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

1901, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for mitochondrion

borrowed from German (in plural Mitochondria), from Greek mítos "length of thread, cord used to separate warp threads" (of uncertain origin) + -o- -o- + chóndrion "granule," diminutive of chóndros "grain, groats" — more at chondro-

Note: Term introduced by the German microbiologist Carl Benda (1857-1932) in "Ueber die Spermatogenese der Vertebraten und höherer Evertebraten: II. Theil: Die Histiogenese der Spermien" [XVII. Sitzung am 29. Juli 1898], Archiv für Anatomie und Physiologie - Physiologische Abtheilung, Jahrgang 1898, p. 397: "Sie liegen innerhalb eines Theiles der Protoplasmafäden, bisweilen zu besonderen Körpern gehäuft, und sind wenigsten mit einem Theil der bereits bekannten Zellmikrosomen identisch, aber unterschieden von den Altmann'schen und Ehrlich'schen Granulationen. Ich möchte vorläufig vorschlagen, ihnen als Mitochondria eine besondere Stellung vorzubehalten, die ich in weiteren Arbeiten begründen werde." ("They lie within of a portion of the protoplasmic threads, sometimes aggregated to particular bodies, and are identical to at least part of the already known cell microsomes, but differ from Altmann's and Ehrlich's granulations. I would like to suggest tentatively reserving for them a special status as mitochondria, which I will substantiate in further work.")

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Time Traveler for mitochondrion

Time Traveler

The first known use of mitochondrion was in 1901

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Last Updated

9 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Mitochondrion.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mitochondrion. Accessed 22 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for mitochondrion

mitochondrion

noun
mi·​to·​chon·​dri·​on | \ ˌmī-tə-ˈkän-drē-ən How to pronounce mitochondrion (audio) \
plural mitochondria\ -​drē-​ə \

Kids Definition of mitochondrion

: one of the parts found in the cytoplasm of a cell outside the nucleus that provides the cell with energy released from the breakdown of nutrients

mitochondrion

noun
mi·​to·​chon·​dri·​on | \ ˌmīt-ə-ˈkän-drē-ən How to pronounce mitochondrion (audio) \
plural mitochondria\ -​drē-​ə How to pronounce mitochondria (audio) \

Medical Definition of mitochondrion

: any of various round or long cellular organelles of most eukaryotes that are found outside the nucleus, produce energy for the cell through cellular respiration, and are rich in fats, proteins, and enzymes

called also chondriosome

Other Words from mitochondrion

mitochondrial \ -​drē-​əl How to pronounce mitochondrial (audio) \ adjective
mitochondrially \ -​ē How to pronounce mitochondrially (audio) \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on mitochondrion

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about mitochondrion

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