micelle

[mi-sel]
noun
Physical Chemistry. an electrically charged particle formed by an aggregate of molecules and occurring in certain colloidal electrolyte solutions, as those of soaps and detergents.

Origin:
1880–85; < Neo-Latin mīcella, equivalent to Latin mīc(a) crumb, grain + -ella -elle

micellar, adjective
micellarly, adverb
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World English Dictionary
micelle, micell or micella (mɪˈsɛl, mɪˈsɛlə)
 
n
chem
 a.  a charged aggregate of molecules of colloidal size in a solution
 b.  any molecular aggregate of colloidal size, such as a particle found in coal
 
[C19: from New Latin micella, diminutive of Latin mīca crumb]
 
micell, micell or micella
 
n
 
[C19: from New Latin micella, diminutive of Latin mīca crumb]
 
micella, micell or micella
 
n
 
[C19: from New Latin micella, diminutive of Latin mīca crumb]
 
mi'cellar, micell or micella
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

micelle

in physical chemistry, a loosely bound aggregation of several tens or hundreds of atoms, ions (electrically charged atoms), or molecules, forming a colloidal particle-i.e., one of a number of ultramicroscopic particles dispersed through some continuous medium. Micelles are important in the chemistry of surfaces-e.g., the power of soap solutions to disperse organic compounds insoluble or only slightly soluble in water is explained as a property of micelles.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences for micelle
Each micelle is roughly spherical and about a tenth of a micrometer across.
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