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cell1

[sel] /sɛl/
noun
1.
a small room, as in a convent or prison.
2.
any of various small compartments or bounded areas forming part of a whole.
3.
a small group acting as a unit within a larger organization:
a local cell of the Communist party.
4.
Biology. a usually microscopic structure containing nuclear and cytoplasmic material enclosed by a semipermeable membrane and, in plants, a cell wall; the basic structural unit of all organisms.
5.
Entomology. one of the areas into which the wing of an insect is divided by the veins.
6.
Botany, locule.
7.
Electricity.
  1. Also called battery, electric cell, electrochemical cell, galvanic cell, voltaic cell. a device that generates electrical energy from chemical energy, usually consisting of two different conducting substances placed in an electrolyte.
    Compare dry cell.
  2. solar cell.
8.
Also called electrolytic cell. Physical Chemistry. a device for producing electrolysis, consisting essentially of the electrolyte, its container, and the electrodes.
9.
Aeronautics. the gas container of a balloon.
10.
Ecclesiastical. a monastery or nunnery, usually small, dependent on a larger religious house.
11.
Telecommunications. See under cellular phone.
verb (used without object)
12.
to live in a cell:
The two prisoners had celled together for three years.
Origin
1150
before 1150; 1665-75 for def 4; Middle English celle < Old French celle < Medieval Latin cella monastic cell, Latin: room (see cella); Old English cell < Medieval Latin, as above; see cella
Related forms
cell-like, adjective

cell2

[sel] /sɛl/
noun
1.
cel.

cellular phone

noun
1.
a mobile telephone system using low-powered radio transmitters, with each transmitter covering a distinct geographical area (cell) and computer equipment to switch a call from one area to another, thus enabling large-scale car or portable phone service.
Also called cell· phone·, cellular telephone.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for cells
  • Human embryonic stem cells may not be the only source of tissue needed to repair damaged organs.
  • These embryonic stem cells were isolated for the first time by two groups of university scientists.
  • Embryonic stem cells have been touted as treatments for many diseases because they can grow to replace damaged cells of any type.
  • Solar cells are still ten times too expensive for use in housing.
  • Scientists have found that umbilical cord blood may be a new source of organ-growing stem cells.
  • Patchwork receptors target immune cells against cancer.
  • With the cells open, the inmates overpower the guard and begin the largest riot in the prison's history.
  • Plastic foam flats with tapered individual cells are sold by nurseries and through seed catalogs.
  • Currently, the cost of electricity from silicon solar cells is about ten times that of other energy sources.
  • In this lesson, students learn about new techniques scientists have devised to derive embryonic stem cells in mice.
British Dictionary definitions for cells

cell1

/sɛl/
noun
1.
a small simple room, as in a prison, convent, monastery, or asylum; cubicle
2.
any small compartment: the cells of a honeycomb
3.
(biology) the basic structural and functional unit of living organisms. It consists of a nucleus, containing the genetic material, surrounded by the cytoplasm in which are mitochondria, lysosomes, ribosomes, and other organelles. All cells are bounded by a cell membrane; plant cells have an outer cell wall in addition
4.
(biology) any small cavity or area, such as the cavity containing pollen in an anther
5.
a device for converting chemical energy into electrical energy, usually consisting of a container with two electrodes immersed in an electrolyte See also primary cell, secondary cell, dry cell, wet cell, fuel cell
6.
short for electrolytic cell
7.
a small religious house dependent upon a larger one
8.
a small group of persons operating as a nucleus of a larger political, religious, or other organization: Communist cell
9.
(maths) a small unit of volume in a mathematical coordinate system
10.
(zoology) one of the areas on an insect wing bounded by veins
11.
the geographical area served by an individual transmitter in a cellular radio network
Derived Forms
cell-like, adjective
Word Origin
C12: from Medieval Latin cella monk's cell, from Latin: room, storeroom; related to Latin cēlāre to hide

cell2

/sɛl/
noun
1.
a variant spelling of cel
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cells

cell

n.

early 12c., "small monastery, subordinate monastery" (from Medieval Latin in this sense), later "small room for a monk or a nun in a monastic establishment; a hermit's dwelling" (c.1300), from Latin cella "small room, store room, hut," related to Latin celare "to hide, conceal."

The Latin word represents PIE root *kel- "conceal" (cf. Sanskrit cala "hut, house, hall;" Greek kalia "hut, nest," kalyptein "to cover," koleon "sheath," kelyphos "shell, husk;" Latin clam "secret;" Old Irish cuile "cellar," celim "hide," Middle Irish cul "defense, shelter;" Gothic hulistr "covering," Old English heolstor "lurking-hole, cave, covering," Gothic huljan "cover over," hulundi "hole," hilms "helmet," halja "hell," Old English hol "cave," holu "husk, pod").

Sense of monastic rooms extended to prison rooms (1722). Used in 14c., figuratively, of brain "compartments;" used in biology by 17c. of various cavities (e.g. wood structure, segments of fruit, bee combs), gradually focusing to the modern sense of "basic structure of living organisms" (which OED dates to 1845).

Electric battery sense is from 1828, based on original form. Meaning "small group of people working within a larger organization" is from 1925. Cell body is from 1851; cell division from 1846; cell membrane from 1837 (but cellular membrane is 1732); cell wall from 1842.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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cells in Medicine

cell (sěl)
n.

  1. The smallest structural unit of an organism that is capable of independent functioning, consisting of one or more nuclei, cytoplasm, and various organelles, all surrounded by a semipermeable cell membrane.

  2. A small enclosed cavity or space.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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cells in Science
cell
  (sěl)   

  1. The basic unit of living matter in all organisms, consisting of protoplasm enclosed within a cell membrane. All cells except bacterial cells have a distinct nucleus that contains the cell's DNA as well as other structures (called organelles) that include mitochondria, the endoplasmic reticulum, and vacuoles. The main source of energy for all of a cell's biological processes is ATP. See more at eukaryote, prokaryote.

  2. Any of various devices, or units within such devices, that are capable of converting some form of energy into electricity. Cells contain two electrodes and an electrolyte. See more at electrolytic cell, solar cell, voltaic cell.


cellular adjective
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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cells in Culture

cell definition


A region of the atmosphere in which air tends to circulate without flowing outward.

cell definition


The basic unit of all living things except viruses. In advanced organisms, cells consist of a nucleus (which contains genetic material), cytoplasm, and organelles, all of which are surrounded by a cell membrane.

Note: Groups of cells with similar structure and function form tissues.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Related Abbreviations for cells

cell

  1. cellular
  2. celluloid
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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