an inert carbohydrate, (C 6 H 10 O 5 ) n, the chief constituent of the cell walls of plants and of wood, cotton, hemp, paper, etc.

1745–55; < Neo-Latin cellul(a) live cell (see cellular) + -ose2

cellulosity [sel-yuh-los-i-tee] , noun
semicellulose, noun
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World English Dictionary
cellulose (ˈsɛljʊˌləʊz, -ˌləʊs)
a polysaccharide consisting of long unbranched chains of linked glucose units: the main constituent of plant cell walls and used in making paper, rayon, and film
[C18: from French cellule cell (see cellule) + -ose²]
adj, —n

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Word Origin & History

1835, coined by Fr. chemist Anselme Payen (1795-1871) from noun use of adj. cellulose "consisting of cells," coined 18c. from L. cellula (see celluloid) + -ose Fr. suffix forming nouns.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

cellulose cel·lu·lose (sěl'yə-lōs', -lōz')
A complex carbohydrate that is composed of glucose units, forms the main constituent of the cell wall in most plants, and is important in the manufacture of numerous products, such as pharmaceuticals.

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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
cellulose   (sěl'yə-lōs')  Pronunciation Key 
  1. A carbohydrate that is a polymer composed of glucose units and that is the main component of the cell walls of most plants. It is insoluble in water and is used to make paper, cellophane, textiles, explosives, and other products.

  2. See cellulose acetate.

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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
cellulose [(sel-yuh-lohs)]

A stringy, fibrous substance that forms the main material in the cell walls of plants. Cellulose is an organic molecule, composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
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