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[plaz-muh] /ˈplæz mə/
Anatomy, Physiology. the liquid part of blood or lymph, as distinguished from the suspended elements.
Cell Biology. cytoplasm.
a green, faintly translucent chalcedony.
Physics. a highly ionized gas containing an approximately equal number of positive ions and electrons.
Also, plasm
[plaz-uh m] /ˈplæz əm/ (Show IPA),
for defs 1–3.
Origin of plasma
1705-15; < Late Latin < Greek plásma something molded or formed, akin to plássein to form, mold. See plastic
Related forms
[plaz-mat-ik] /plæzˈmæt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
plasmic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for plasma


the clear yellowish fluid portion of blood or lymph in which the red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets are suspended
short for blood plasma
a former name for protoplasm, cytoplasm
  1. a hot ionized material consisting of nuclei and electrons. It is sometimes regarded as a fourth state of matter and is the material present in the sun, most stars, and fusion reactors
  2. the ionized gas in an electric discharge or spark, containing positive ions and electrons and a small number of negative ions together with un-ionized material
a green slightly translucent variety of chalcedony, used as a gemstone
a less common term for whey
Derived Forms
plasmatic (plæzˈmætɪk), plasmic, adjective
Word Origin
C18: from Late Latin: something moulded, from Greek, from plassein to mould
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 plasma

1712, "form, shape" (earlier plasm), from Late Latin plasma, from Greek plasma "something molded or created," hence "image, figure; counterfeit, forgery; formed style, affectation," from plassein "to mold," originally "to spread thin," from PIE *plath-yein, from root *pele- (2) "flat, to spread" (see plane (n.1)). Sense of "liquid part of blood" is from 1845; that of "ionized gas" is 1928.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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plasma in Medicine

plasma plas·ma (plāz'mə) or plasm (plāz'əm)

  1. The clear, yellowish fluid portion of blood, lymph, or intramuscular fluid in which cells are suspended.

  2. Cell-free, sterilized blood plasma, used in transfusions.

  3. Protoplasm or cytoplasm.

plas·mat'ic (plāz-māt'ĭk) or plas'mic (-mĭk) 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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plasma in Science
  1. See blood plasma.

  2. Protoplasm or cytoplasm.

  3. One of four main states of matter, similar to a gas, but consisting of positively charged ions with most or all of their detached electrons moving freely about. Plasmas are produced by very high temperatures, as in the Sun and other stars, and also by the ionization resulting from exposure to an electric current, as in a fluorescent light bulb or a neon sign. See more at state of matter.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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plasma in Culture
plasma [(plaz-muh)]

A state of matter in which some or all of the electrons have been torn from their parent atoms. The negatively charged electrons and positively charged ions move independently.

Note: Plasmas are usually associated with very high temperatures — most of the sun is a plasma, for example.
plasma [(plaz-muh)]

The liquid part of blood or lymph. Blood plasma is mainly water; it also contains gases, nutrients, and hormones. The red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets are all suspended in the plasma of the blood.

The 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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