white blood cell

noun

Definition of white blood cell

: any of the blood cells that are colorless, lack hemoglobin, contain a nucleus, and include the lymphocytes, monocytes, neutrophils, eosinophils, and basophils

called also leukocyte, white blood corpuscle, white cell

— compare red blood cell

Examples of white blood cell in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Antibiotics didn’t exist at the time, but his own white blood cells were able to eradicate the bacteria. Jerome Groopman, The New York Review of Books, "The Body Strikes Back," 21 Mar. 2019 Medical workers observed that exposure to radiation caused a precipitous drop in the survivors’ white blood cell counts, and experiments in mice showed that bone marrow transplants could offset those losses. Quanta Magazine, "To Heal Some Wounds, Adult Cells Turn More Fetal," 29 Aug. 2018 The possible side effects include fatigue, nausea, diarrhea and constipation, and a drop in certain white blood cells that help fight infections. Amy Norton, CBS News, "Newer drug extends lives of young breast cancer patients, study finds," 3 June 2019 These cells facilitate immune functioning by triggering other white blood cells (known as B cells) to produce antibodies. William Von Hippel, Discover Magazine, "Why Natural Selection Means We'll Never Be Happy," 20 Feb. 2019 The pills treat a variety of cancers involving a type of white blood cell called B cells. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Doctors tried to lower $148K cancer drug cost; makers triple price of pill," 19 Apr. 2018 Checkpoint inhibitors work by activating white blood cells called T-cells, a part of the immune system that should attack tumors. Denise Grady, New York Times, "A Promising Cancer Treatment Made Patients Worse, Not Better," 5 June 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 However, two to five hours later, levels of disease-fighting immune cells (like NK and white blood cells) decreased. Jessica Migala, Good Housekeeping, "5 Major Dry January Health Benefits, According to Experts," 26 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'white 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 white blood cell

1852, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for white blood cell

Last Updated

9 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for white blood cell

The first known use of white blood cell was in 1852

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More Definitions for white blood cell

white blood cell

noun

English Language Learners Definition of white blood cell

: a clear or colorless cell in the blood that protects the body from disease

white blood cell

noun

Kids Definition of white blood cell

: one of the tiny colorless cells of the blood that help fight infection

white blood cell

noun

Medical Definition of white blood cell

: any of the blood cells of the immune system that are colorless, lack hemoglobin, contain a nucleus, and include the lymphocytes, monocytes, neutrophils, eosinophils, and basophils along with their precursors and derivatives (as macrophages) : leukocyte abbreviation WBC

called also white blood corpuscle, white cell, white corpuscle

— compare red blood cell

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More from Merriam-Webster on white blood cell

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with white blood cell

Spanish Central: Translation of white blood cell

Nglish: Translation of white blood cell for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about white blood cell

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