white blood cell

noun

: 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 Ancrum for some time had battled multiple myeloma, a cancer that forms in the white blood cells. Howard Cohen, Miami Herald, 11 Feb. 2024 First-line immune defenders, like neutrophils, need to be replaced after just four to eight hours, platelets can last a week, red blood cells up to four months, and some white blood cells, like memory B cells, live for decades. Megan Molteni, STAT, 22 Jan. 2024 When receptors on white blood cells bind to antigens, this triggers the immune response. Angelica Bottaro, Verywell Health, 16 Jan. 2024 According to the National Cancer Institute, the treatment involves replicating a patient’s T cells — a type of white blood cell — and reprogramming them so they can be infused back into the patient to target and kill the cancer cells. Julia Moore, Peoplemag, 30 Nov. 2023 Beyond these basic, structural benefits, your bones are also a storage site for important minerals, including calcium and phosphorus, and bone marrow, the soft tissue that produces your body's red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Sam Walters, Discover Magazine, 3 Nov. 2023 Her blood had high levels of eosinophils, white blood cells known to fight off parasitic infections. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 28 Aug. 2023 The body interprets this buildup as an infection, sending white blood cells to fight against it. Angela Palmer, Verywell Health, 17 Jan. 2024 This powerful immune-suppressing drug destroys the antibody-producing white blood cells. Lisa Sanders, M.d., New York Times, 7 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'white blood 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

1852, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of white blood cell was in 1852

Dictionary Entries Near white blood cell

Cite this Entry

“White blood cell.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/white%20blood%20cell. Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

white blood cell

noun
: a colorless blood cell (as a lymphocyte) that lacks hemoglobin and contains a nucleus

called also leukocyte, white blood corpuscle, white cell, white corpuscle

Medical Definition

white blood cell

noun
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on white blood cell

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