organelle

noun

or·​gan·​elle ˌȯr-gə-ˈnel How to pronounce organelle (audio)
: a specialized cellular part (such as a mitochondrion, chloroplast, or nucleus) that has a specific function and is considered analogous to an organ

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Both the shaft and the filament are inside out and neatly folded into the tiny organelle. Viviane Callier, Scientific American, 18 Aug. 2022 For years, vision scientists couldn’t make sense of this odd placement of these organelles — after all, most cells have their mitochondria hugging their center organelle, the nucleus. Quanta Magazine, 5 Apr. 2022 Chloroplasts, the organelles that host photosynthesis, have their own DNA, including a gene for D1, and most biologists assumed the protein had to be made there. Erik Stokstad, Science | AAAS, 21 Apr. 2020 In fact, the parasite was missing a critical organelle all together. 10. Remy Tumin, New York Times, 28 Feb. 2020 Further tests confirmed it — there was no mitochondrial genome at all, and hence no chance of the organism functioning the way researchers had expected, although there did seem to be a loose sac that might once have been the organelle. Veronique Greenwood, New York Times, 28 Feb. 2020 Moreover, the cellular organs (organelles) and skeletal proteins arranged themselves around the nuclei, creating compartments that, to Cheng, resembled a sheet of skin cells. Quanta Magazine, 2 Jan. 2020 In this case, because lots of ATP must be produced over extended periods of time, the muscle cells rely on their organelles called mitochondria. Joshua Selsby, CNN, 27 Nov. 2019 Nigel uses wit, whimsy, and humor to depict the various roles of organelles that create balance within a cell. Science, Science Magazine, 10 Jan. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'organelle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

New Latin organella, from Latin organum

First Known Use

1915, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of organelle was in 1915

Dictionary Entries Near organelle

Cite this Entry

“Organelle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/organelle. Accessed 5 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

organelle

noun

or·​gan·​elle ˌȯr-gə-ˈnel How to pronounce organelle (audio)
: a structure (as a mitochondrion) in a cell that performs a special function

Medical Definition

organelle

noun

or·​gan·​elle ˌȯr-gə-ˈnel How to pronounce organelle (audio)
: a specialized cellular part (as a mitochondrion or nucleus) that has a specific function and is considered analogous to an organ

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