1 of 2


neu·​tro·​phil ˈnü-trə-ˌfil How to pronounce neutrophil (audio)
variants or neutrophilic
: staining to the same degree with acid or basic dyes
neutrophil granulocytes


2 of 2


: a granulocyte that is the chief phagocytic white blood cell of the blood

Examples of neutrophil in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
The Company's DNase platform is designed to improve outcomes of existing treatments, including immunotherapies, by targeting neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), which are involved in cancer progression. Charlotte Observer, 22 May 2024 When the team blocked IL6, both the neutrophils and fungal antibodies decreased in quantity. Maggie Chen, WIRED, 19 Apr. 2024 First-line immune defenders, like neutrophils, need to be replaced after just four to eight hours, platelets can last a week, red blood cells up to four months, and some white blood cells, like memory B cells, live for decades. Megan Molteni, STAT, 22 Jan. 2024 These will interfere with its ability to attach to a host cell, or single out the microbe for ingestion by cells called neutrophils. WIRED, 19 Nov. 2023 The initial response is from neutrophils, a type of white blood cell (think pus) that rushes in to fight infection. Bryant Stamford, The Courier-Journal, 17 Aug. 2023 Meanwhile, neutrophils ramp up inflammation, release toxins, and as a last resort, produce antibiotic-laden traps called NETs—neutrophil extracellular traps—by cellular suicide; the NETs are made using the neutrophil's own DNA. Christie Wilcox, Discover Magazine, 19 Apr. 2016 Working with mice bred to lack this protein, Gibbins and his colleagues determined that platelets with less HSP47 were less likely to attract and bind to infection-fighting white blood cells called neutrophils—a key step in clot formation. Byelizabeth Pennisi,, 13 Apr. 2023 Over a series of lab and mice experiments, the researchers showed the protein is essential for allowing platelets and neutrophils to coordinate. Jason Mast Reprints, STAT, 13 Apr. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'neutrophil.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



International Scientific Vocabulary neutro- (from Latin neutr-, neuter neither) + -phil

First Known Use


circa 1890, in the meaning defined above


1897, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of neutrophil was circa 1890

Dictionary Entries Near neutrophil

Cite this Entry

“Neutrophil.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a cell with fine grains in it that is the white blood cell doing most of the work in collecting and taking in stray and foreign matter

Medical Definition


1 of 2 adjective
neu·​tro·​phil ˈn(y)ü-trə-ˌfil How to pronounce neutrophil (audio)
variants or neutrophilic also neutrophile
: staining to the same degree with acid or basic dyes
neutrophil granulocytes


2 of 2 noun
variants also neutrophile
: a granulocyte that is the chief phagocytic white blood cell

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