phospholipid

noun
phos·​pho·​lip·​id | \ ˌfäs-fō-ˈli-pəd How to pronounce phospholipid (audio) \

Definition of phospholipid

: any of various phosphorus-containing complex lipids (such as lecithins and phosphatidylethanolamines) that are derived from glycerol and are major constituents of the membranes of cells and intracellular organelles and vesicles

Note: Phospholipids typically consist of a hydrophilic polar phosphate head and a hydrophobic tail of two fatty acids. In aqueous environments, phospholipids typically form semipermeable bilayers in which the hydrophilic heads point outward and the hydrophobic tails point inward toward each other.

Examples of phospholipid in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web One group of researchers mixed phospholipid vesicles—an assembly of the molecule that is a crucial component of cell membranes—with DNA and repeatedly dehydrated then rehydrated the mixture. Tim Flannery, The New York Review of Books, 17 Nov. 2020

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

First Known Use of phospholipid

1925, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of phospholipid was in 1925

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Dictionary Entries Near phospholipid

phospholipase

phospholipid

phosphomolybdate

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Cite this Entry

“Phospholipid.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/phospholipid. Accessed 2 Aug. 2021.

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More Definitions for phospholipid

phospholipid

noun
phos·​pho·​lip·​id | \ -ˈlip-əd How to pronounce phospholipid (audio) \
variants: also phospholipide \ -​ˌīd How to pronounce phospholipid (audio) \

Medical Definition of phospholipid

: any of various phosphorus-containing complex lipids (such as lecithins and phosphatidylethanolamines) that are derived from glycerol and are major constituents of the membranes of cells and intracellular organelles and vesicles

Note: Phospholipids typically consist of a hydrophilic polar phosphate head and a hydrophobic tail of two fatty acids. In aqueous environments, phospholipids typically form semipermeable bilayers in which the hydrophilic heads point outward and the hydrophobic tails point inward toward each other.

called also phosphatide, phospholipin

More from Merriam-Webster on phospholipid

Nglish: Translation of phospholipid for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about phospholipid

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