phago·​cyte | \ ˈfa-gə-ˌsīt How to pronounce phagocyte (audio) \

Definition of phagocyte

: a cell (such as a macrophage or neutrophil) that engulfs and consumes foreign material (such as microorganisms) and debris (such as dead tissue cells)

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Other Words from phagocyte

phagocytic \ ˌfa-​gə-​ˈsi-​tik How to pronounce phagocyte (audio) \ adjective

Examples of phagocyte in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Metchnikoff didn’t immediately assume that these phagocytes are specialized for disease fighting and pathogen removal alone. Quanta Magazine, "Immune Cell Assassins Reveal Their Nurturing Side," 11 Feb. 2020

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

First Known Use of phagocyte

circa 1884, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for phagocyte

International Scientific Vocabulary, from Greek phagein + New Latin -cyta -cyte

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Time Traveler for phagocyte

Time Traveler

The first known use of phagocyte was circa 1884

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Cite this Entry

“Phagocyte.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for phagocyte


phago·​cyte | \ ˈfag-ə-ˌsīt How to pronounce phagocyte (audio) \

Medical Definition of phagocyte

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a cell (as a macrophage or neutrophil) that engulfs and consumes foreign material (as microorganisms) and debris (as dead tissue cells)


transitive verb
phagocyted; phagocyting

Medical Definition of phagocyte (Entry 2 of 2)

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