phagocytosis

noun

phago·​cy·​to·​sis ˌfa-gə-sə-ˈtō-səs How to pronounce phagocytosis (audio)
-sī-
plural phagocytoses ˌfa-gə-sə-ˈtō-ˌsēz How to pronounce phagocytosis (audio)
-sī-
: the engulfing and usually the destruction of particulate matter by phagocytes that serves as an important bodily defense mechanism against infection by microorganisms and against occlusion of mucous surfaces or tissues by foreign particles and tissue debris
phagocytotic adjective

Examples of phagocytosis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web To feed, individual molds engulf bacterial cells whole through a process known as phagocytosis. Discover Magazine, 29 June 2010 Even more notable, Loki has genes that code for proteins involved in phagocytosis, the process by which one cell can swallow another — and widely believed to be the way eukaryotes acquired mitochondria, a cell’s power source. Jonathon Keats, Discover Magazine, 29 Nov. 2015 Some of our guardians devour bacteria and fungi in a process known as phagocytosis. Rebecca Kreston, Discover Magazine, 1 Mar. 2015 These large immune cells are the infantry of the body's army, and spend their time engulfing enemy forces in a process called phagocytosis. Christie Wilcox, Discover Magazine, 19 Apr. 2016 All the antibodies described here may require additional engineering for potency, extended half-life, and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity and phagocytosis—all possible with extant technology. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 5 Oct. 2022 But here’s where the trap comes in: Sprinkled amid the ACE2 receptors are ligands, little molecules that can bind to a cell receptor and, in this case, induce phagocytosis. Wired, 28 July 2022 In addition, Yang also found gene-expression changes in microglia, which clean up waste and eat dead cells in a process called phagocytosis. Stephani Sutherland, Scientific American, 21 Jan. 2021

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

Word History

Etymology

New Latin

First Known Use

1889, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of phagocytosis was in 1889

Dictionary Entries Near phagocytosis

Cite this Entry

“Phagocytosis.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/phagocytosis. Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition

phagocytosis

noun
phago·​cy·​to·​sis ˌfag-ə-sə-ˈtō-səs, -sī- How to pronounce phagocytosis (audio)
plural phagocytoses -ˌsēz How to pronounce phagocytosis (audio)
: the engulfing and usually the destruction of particulate matter by phagocytes that serves as an important bodily defense mechanism against infection by microorganisms and against occlusion of mucous surfaces or tissues by foreign particles and tissue debris
phagocytotic adjective

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