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mitochondrion

[mahy-tuh-kon-dree-uh n] /ˌmaɪ təˈkɒn dri ən/
noun, plural mitochondria
[mahy-tuh-kon-dree-uh] /ˌmaɪ təˈkɒn dri ə/ (Show IPA).
Cell Biology
1.
an organelle in the cytoplasm of cells that functions in energy production.
Origin
1900-1905
1900-05; < Greek míto(s) thread + chóndrion small grain, equivalent to chóndr(os) grain, corn + -ion diminutive suffix
Related forms
mitochondrial, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for mitochondria
  • Red blood cells lack mitochondria, but other cells may contain anywhere from 50 to 5000 of them, depending on their jobs.
  • Every animal cell contains structures called mitochondria that produce the cell's fuel.
  • At issue are little power factories inside cells, called mitochondria.
  • Researchers are now zeroing in on a promising missing link: mitochondria, the cell components responsible for energy regulation.
  • But every so often, our mitochondria and their surrounding cells fight.
  • The mitochondria are the most constant type of granule and vary in form from granules to rods and threads.
  • Parts of each cell, mitochondria produce energy through respiration.
  • Inside the cell, mitochondria turn food and oxygen into adenosine triphosphate, which produces energy.
  • Zhang wondered if mitochondria and flight were tightly linked in mammals, too.
  • They include “cross links” that gum up the machinery and glue cells to one another and mitochondria that fail with age.
British Dictionary definitions for mitochondria

mitochondrion

/ˌmaɪtəʊˈkɒndrɪən/
noun (pl) -dria (-drɪə)
1.
a small spherical or rodlike body, bounded by a double membrane, in the cytoplasm of most cells: contains enzymes responsible for energy production Also called chondriosome
Derived Forms
mitochondrial, adjective
Word Origin
C19: New Latin, from Greek mitos thread + khondrion small grain
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 mitochondria
n.

1901, from German, coined 1898 by microbiologist Carl Benda (1857-1933), from Greek mitos "thread" (see mitre) + khondrion "little granule," diminutive of khondros "granule, lump of salt" (see grind (v.)).

mitochondrion

n.

singular of mitochondria.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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mitochondria in Medicine

mitochondrion mi·to·chon·dri·on (mī'tə-kŏn'drē-ən)
n. pl. mi·to·chon·dri·a (-drē-ə)
A spherical or elongated organelle in the cytoplasm of nearly all eukaryotic cells, containing genetic material and many enzymes important for cell metabolism, including those responsible for the conversion of food to usable energy. It consists of two membranes: an outer smooth membrane and an inner membrane arranged to form cristae.


mi'to·chon'dri·al (-drē-əl) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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mitochondria in Science
mitochondrion
  (mī'tə-kŏn'drē-ən)   
Plural mitochondria
A structure in the cytoplasm of all cells except bacteria in which food molecules (sugars, fatty acids, and amino acids) are broken down in the presence of oxygen and converted to energy in the form of ATP. Mitochondria have an inner and outer membrane. The inner membrane has many twists and folds (called cristae), which increase the surface area available to proteins and their associative reactions. The inner membrane encloses a liquid containing DNA, RNA, small ribosomes, and solutes. The DNA in mitochondria is genetically distinct from that in the cell nucleus, and mitochondria can manufacture some of their own proteins independent of the rest of the cell. Each cell can contain thousands of mitochondria, which move about producing ATP in response to the cell's need for chemical energy. It is thought that mitochondria originated as separate, single-celled organisms that became so symbiotic with their hosts as to be indispensible. Mitochondrial DNA is thus considered a remnant of a past existence as a separate organism. See more at cell, cellular respiration.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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mitochondria in Culture
mitochondrion [(meye-tuh-kon-dree-uhn)]

The cell organelle where much of cellular respiration takes place; the “power plant” of the cell.

Note: Mitochondria probably entered eukaryotes by an act of endosymbiosis, in which one simple cell was absorbed by another.
Note: Mitochondria contain their own DNA. It is by tracing the mitochondrial DNA, which individuals inherit only from their mothers, that genetic linkeages are often traced. (See mitochondrial Eve.)

A cutaway view.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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