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phagocytosis

[fag-uh-sahy-toh-sis] /ˌfæg ə saɪˈtoʊ sɪs/
noun
1.
Physiology. the ingestion of a smaller cell or cell fragment, a microorganism, or foreign particles by means of the local infolding of a cell's membrane and the protrusion of its cytoplasm around the fold until the material has been surrounded and engulfed by closure of the membrane and formation of a vacuole: characteristic of amebas and some types of white blood cells.
Origin
1890-1895
1890-95; phagocyte + -osis
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for phagocytosis
  • The immune system response also involves a process called phagocytosis.
British Dictionary definitions for phagocytosis

phagocytosis

/ˌfæɡəsaɪˈtəʊsɪs/
noun
1.
the process by which a cell, such as a white blood cell, ingests microorganisms, other cells, and foreign particles
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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phagocytosis in Medicine

phagocytosis phag·o·cy·to·sis (fāg'ə-sī-tō'sĭs)
n.
The engulfing and ingestion of bacteria or other foreign bodies by phagocytes.


phag'o·cy·tot'ic (-tŏt'ĭk) 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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Encyclopedia Article for phagocytosis

process by which certain living cells called phagocytes ingest or engulf other cells or particles. The phagocyte may be a free-living one-celled organism, such as an amoeba, or one of the body cells, such as a leukocyte (white blood cell). In some forms of animal life, such as amoebas and sponges, phagocytosis is a means of feeding; in higher animals phagocytosis is chiefly a defensive reaction against infection and invasion of the body by foreign substances (antigens).

Learn more about phagocytosis with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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