protoplasm

play
noun pro·to·plasm \ˈprō-tə-ˌpla-zəm\

Definition of protoplasm

  1. 1 :  the organized colloidal complex of organic and inorganic substances (as proteins and water) that constitutes the living nucleus, cytoplasm, plastids, and mitochondria of the cell

  2. 2 :  cytoplasm

protoplasmic

play \ˌprō-tə-ˈplaz-mik\ adjective

Did You Know?

After the word protoplasm was coined in the mid-19th century for the jellylike material that is the main substance of a cell, it began to be used widely, especially by scientists and others who imagined that the first life-forms must have arisen out of a great seething protoplasmic soup. Since protoplasm includes all the cell's living material, inside and outside the nucleus, it is a less useful scientific word today than more precise terms such as cytoplasm, which refers only to the living material outside the nucleus. But many remain fascinated by the image of that soup bubbling away as the lightning flashes and the volcanoes erupt.

Origin and Etymology of protoplasm

German Protoplasma, from prot- + New Latin plasma


First Known Use: 1848


PROTOPLASM Defined for English Language Learners

protoplasm

play
noun pro·to·plasm \ˈprō-tə-ˌpla-zəm\

Definition of protoplasm for English Language Learners

  • biology : the usually colorless substance that is the living part of animal and plant cells


PROTOPLASM Defined for Kids

protoplasm

play
noun pro·to·plasm \ˈprō-tə-ˌpla-zəm\

Definition of protoplasm for Students

  1. :  the usually colorless and jellylike living part of cells


Medical Dictionary

protoplasm

play
noun pro·to·plasm \ˈprōt-ə-ˌplaz-əm\

Medical Definition of protoplasm

  1. 1:  the organized colloidal complex of organic and inorganic substances (as proteins and water) that constitutes the living nucleus, cytoplasm, plastids, and mitochondria of the cell and is regarded as the only form of matter in which the vital phenomena (as metabolism and reproduction) are manifested

  2. 2:  cytoplasm


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