mitochondrion

noun
mi·to·chon·dri·on | \ˌmī-tə-ˈkän-drē-ən \
plural mitochondria\-drē-ə \

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 \-drē-əl \ adjective

Examples of mitochondrion in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Yet mitochondria never gave up their own form of heredity. Carl Zimmer, STAT, "Shot through with microbes: How our bodies adapt to a hidden world of bacteria," 30 May 2018 The mitochondria were damaged — and nothing Dr. McCully tried revived them. New York Times, "Dying Organs Restored to Life in Novel Experiments," 10 July 2018 The researchers also looked at caffeine’s potential role in modifying a common effect of aging in mice and humans: reduced respiratory capacity among mitochondria. David Noonan, Scientific American, "The Healthy Addiction? Coffee Study Finds More Health Benefits," 21 June 2018 Children inherit mitochondria only from their mothers; replacing faulty mitochondria in an egg or embryo with normal ones from a donor can result in healthy babies. Sandy Ong, Science | AAAS, "Singapore could become the second country to legalize mitochondrial replacement therapy," 6 June 2018 Altmann might have been wrong to think that mitochondria were independent life forms. Carl Zimmer, STAT, "Shot through with microbes: How our bodies adapt to a hidden world of bacteria," 30 May 2018 Our mitochondria are like little bots converting fuel for exercise. Marc Peruzzi, Outside Online, "In Praise of Dumb Gear," 17 Apr. 2018 In many species, including humans, mitochondria have their own DNA. Ben Guarino, Washington Post, "4,000-year-old Egyptian mummies were thought to be brothers. Genetics tells a different story.," 19 Jan. 2018 Cells are filled with mitochondria, little engines that fuel cell activity. Sophie Weiner, Popular Mechanics, "Here's Why a Giant Mouse Would Explode and a Tiny Elephant Would Freeze," 23 Dec. 2017

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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The first known use of mitochondrion was in 1901

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More Definitions for mitochondrion

mitochondrion

noun
mi·to·chon·dri·on | \ˌmī-tə-ˈkän-drē-ən \
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 \
plural mitochondria\-drē-ə \

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 \ adjective
mitochondrially \ \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on mitochondrion

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about mitochondrion

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