stem cell


: an unspecialized cell that gives rise to differentiated cells
hematopoietic stem cells in bone marrow

Examples of stem cell in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The elephant stem cells also hold the key to the mammoth’s rebirth. Katie Hunt, CNN, 9 Mar. 2024 Elephants rarely get cancer, which is unexpected for a large animal with so many cells, and the elephant stem cells could shed light on why this is the case, the study authors write. Will Sullivan, Smithsonian Magazine, 8 Mar. 2024 Now that the stem cells have been identified, scientists will be able to use cloning techniques to manipulate them in the hopes of birthing elephants with some of the mammoths’ key traits. Julia Moore, Peoplemag, 7 Mar. 2024 Some scientists say the creation of the specialized elephant stem cells is a noteworthy scientific achievement. Rob Stein, NPR, 6 Mar. 2024 Embryonic stem cells have the ability to give rise to all kinds of different cell types that make up organisms—a quality that scientists call pluripotency. Matt Reynolds, WIRED, 6 Mar. 2024 That’s because it’s formulated with sea moss, aloe stem cells, and vitamin E to hydrate, soothe, and protect the lips with absolutely no sticky finish. Brigitt Earley, Glamour, 27 Mar. 2024 Colossal has derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from Asian elephants, the closest living relatives of mammoths, NPR reports. Julia Moore, Peoplemag, 7 Mar. 2024 These include studying the effects of microgravity and UV radiation on plants, using stem cells to create models to study degenerative disease and testing whether wearing pressure cuffs on the legs could prevent fluid shifts and reduce health problems in astronauts. Russell Lewis, NPR, 4 Mar. 2024

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

Word History

First Known Use

1896, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of stem cell was in 1896

Dictionary Entries Near stem cell

Cite this Entry

“Stem cell.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

stem cell

: a simple cell that can become a cell (as a blood cell or skin cell) with a special function

Medical Definition

stem cell

: an unspecialized cell capable of perpetuating itself through cell division and having the potential to give rise to differentiated cells with specialized functions
Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent cells derived from the inner cell mass of the blastocyst stage of the embryo.Carrie J. Merkle, in Essentials of Pathophysiology
… picture the bone marrow as a blood cell factory that takes a single type of precursor cell, or stem cell, and modifies it in various ways to produce all the cells that circulate in the blood.Gina Kolata, Discover
Recent observations are providing increasing evidence for the concept that adult stem cells are part of a natural system for tissue repair.Darwin J. Prockop, in Essentials of Stem Cell Biology

More from Merriam-Webster on stem cell

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