red blood cell

variants: or less commonly red blood corpuscle or red cell or red corpuscle

Definition of red blood cell

: any of the hemoglobin-containing cells that carry oxygen to the tissues and in mammals are typically biconcave disks which lack a nucleus and cellular organelles and are formed from nucleated cells of the red bone marrow

Note: The number of red blood cells ranges from four to six million in each cubic millimeter of normal human blood. The red color of blood is due to the presence of hemoglobin within the red blood cells.

called also erythrocyte

— compare white blood cell

Examples of red blood cell in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Romell and her colleagues imaged the whole hand, then zoomed in for a closer scan of the tip of the middle finger at a resolution of six to nine micrometers—about the width of a human red blood cell. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "New imaging tech gives us the finger (of a mummy)," 27 Sep. 2018 The lungs get clogged with white blood cells, fluid and debris and can no longer efficiently oxygenate the red blood cells, hence the cyanotic, blue-tinged skin so commonly observed in moribund young people during the Great War and its aftermath. William F. Bynum, WSJ, "‘Pandemic 1918’ and ‘Influenza’ Review: Fire, Ice or Virus?," 4 Jan. 2019 These cells are an important part of the immune system, but in people with leukemia, their bone marrow makes abnormal white blood cells, red blood cells, or platelets, MedlinePlus explains. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "WWE Star Roman Reigns Reveals Leukemia Diagnosis: 'I Will Beat This and I Will Be Back'," 23 Oct. 2018 The procedure — just like the creation of the blood moisturizer Hailey Baldwin swears by — involves drawing blood and spinning it in a machine to separate the red blood cells from the plasma. Emma Sarran Webster, Teen Vogue, "New Mexico Department of Health Claims Vampire Facials at One Spa May Have Exposed Clients to Blood-Borne Infections," 14 Sep. 2018 And blood transfusions increase the number of red blood cells that transfer oxygen to muscles. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte broke doping rules. It happens far more than you think.," 24 July 2018 Vitamin B12 is a substance humans do not produce themselves yet need for a variety of important bodily functions like forming red blood cells, promoting neurological functioning, and synthesizing DNA. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "These new vape companies want you to inhale ... vitamins," 24 Oct. 2018 Landsteiner's Discoveries Studying earlier experiments with animals, scientists had noticed that these foreign bodies were broken up in the human bloodstream by hemoglobin, which resides on red blood cells and carries oxygen through the body. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "What Different Blood Types Mean (And How To Find Out Yours)," 28 Dec. 2018 Cardiotoxins cause heart damage, for example, while hemotoxins destroy red blood cells. 5. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, "20 Things You Didn't Know About ... Poison," 25 Sep. 2018

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

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First Known Use of red blood cell

1850, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for red blood cell

Last Updated

11 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for red blood cell

The first known use of red blood cell was in 1850

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More Definitions for red blood cell

red blood cell


English Language Learners Definition of red blood cell

: a red-colored blood cell that carries oxygen from the lungs to other parts of the body

red blood cell


Kids Definition of red blood cell

: a tiny reddish cell of the blood that contains hemoglobin and carries oxygen from the lungs to the tissues

red blood cell


Medical Definition of red blood cell

: any of the hemoglobin-containing cells that carry oxygen to the tissues and are responsible for the red color of vertebrate blood

called also erythrocyte, red blood corpuscle, red cell, red corpuscle

— compare white blood cell

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with red blood cell

Spanish Central: Translation of red blood cell

Nglish: Translation of red blood cell for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about red blood cell

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