natural killer cell

noun

Definition of natural killer cell 

: a large granular lymphocyte capable especially of destroying tumor cells or virally-infected cells without prior exposure to the target cell and without having it presented with or marked by a histocompatibility antigen

called also NK cell

Examples of natural killer cell in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

During This Year’s Flu Season Khatri and his team traced the natural killer cells back to the gene that codes them, and the protein called CD94 that the gene produces. Alice Park, Time, "A Better Flu Shot May Be On the Horizon. Here's Why," 14 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'natural 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 natural killer cell

1975, in the meaning defined above

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20 Sep 2018

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The first known use of natural killer cell was in 1975

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More Definitions for natural killer cell

natural killer cell

noun

Medical Definition of natural killer cell 

: a large granular lymphocyte capable especially of destroying tumor cells or virally infected cells without prior exposure to the target cell and without having it presented with or marked by a histocompatibility antigen

called also NK cell

More from Merriam-Webster on natural killer cell

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about natural killer cell

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