tis·​sue | \ ˈti-(ˌ)shü, chiefly British ˈtis-(ˌ)yü\

Definition of tissue

1 : a piece of soft absorbent tissue paper used especially as a handkerchief or for removing cosmetics
2 : an aggregate of cells usually of a particular kind together with their intercellular substance that form one of the structural materials of a plant or an animal
3a : a fine lightweight often sheer fabric
b : mesh, network, web a tissue of lies

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Other Words from tissue

tissuey \ ˈti-​shə-​wē \ adjective

Examples of tissue in a Sentence

She wiped her nose with a tissue. a sample of brain tissue The drug can damage the body's tissues. a box wrapped in tissue
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Recent Examples on the Web

To do this, scientists extract stem cells from an animal—such as a pig or a cow—and cultivate them into muscle tissue in a lab. Alison Roman, WSJ, "Plant-Based ‘Meat’ and ‘Fish’ May Be the Future. But How Do They Taste?," 12 Apr. 2018 But there is also evidence that bone marrow stem cells or abdominal cells can transform into endometrial tissue. Marie Mccullough, Philly.com, "Frustrated endometriosis patients fuel surge in activism while seeking answers," 12 Apr. 2018 The cups should always fit smoothly across the breasts, without gaping, overflow, or digging into the tissue. Laura Lajiness, Glamour, "6 Tips for Bra Shopping When You Have Big Boobs," 31 Jan. 2018 Next, add another layer of lipstick, then blot with tissue to help remove leftover pigment. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Dakota Johnson's Makeup Artist on How To Make Red Lipstick Last All Night," 31 Dec. 2018 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sepsis can lead to tissue damage, organ failure and death without immediate treatment. Alexandria Hein, Fox News, "Wimbledon champ Ken Flach's widow speaks out on tennis great's sepsis death," 25 Sep. 2018 Better keep your box of tissues handy, because the season of emotional Christmas commercials is just getting started. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "London's Heathrow Airport's New Christmas Commercial Is Here," 8 Nov. 2018 The maker of Kleenex tissues, Scott toilet paper and Huggies said third-quarter sales fell 2% to $4.58 billion and cut its earnings guidance for the full year. Aisha Al-muslim, WSJ, "Colgate-Palmolive Posts Lower Sales, Sees Weakness Ahead," 26 Oct. 2018 Muotri has developed the modern human brain organoids to the stage where his team can detect oscillating electrical signals within the balls of tissue. Jon Cohen, Science | AAAS, "Exclusive: Neanderthal “minibrains” grown in dish.," 20 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tissue.' 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 tissue

1563, in the meaning defined at sense 3a

History and Etymology for tissue

Middle English tysshewe, tyssew, a rich fabric, from Anglo-French tissue, from past participle of tistre to weave, from Latin texere — more at technical

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Dictionary Entries near tissue





tissue culture


tissue fluid

Statistics for tissue

Last Updated

19 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for tissue

The first known use of tissue was in 1563

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More Definitions for tissue



English Language Learners Definition of tissue

: a piece of soft and very thin paper that is used especially for cleaning

: the material that forms the parts in a plant or animal


tis·​sue | \ ˈti-shü \

Kids Definition of tissue

1 : a fine lightweight fabric
2 : a piece of soft absorbent paper She dabbed at her nose with a tissue.
3 : a mass or layer of cells usually of one kind that perform a special function and form the basic structural material of an animal or plant body muscle tissue


tis·​sue | \ ˈtish-(ˌ)ü, ˈtish-ə(-w), chiefly British ˈtis-(ˌ)yü\

Medical Definition of tissue

: an aggregate of cells usually of a particular kind together with their intercellular substance that form one of the structural materials of a plant or an animal and that in animals include connective tissue, epithelium, muscle tissue, and nerve tissue

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More from Merriam-Webster on tissue

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tissue

Spanish Central: Translation of tissue

Nglish: Translation of tissue for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tissue for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tissue

Comments on tissue

What made you want to look up tissue? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to gather or build up little by little

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