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[plas-tid] /ˈplæs tɪd/
noun, Cell Biology
a small, double-membraned organelle of plant cells and certain protists, occurring in several varieties, as the chloroplast, and containing ribosomes, prokaryotic DNA, and, often, pigment.
1875-80; < German Plastide < Greek plastid-, stem of plástis, feminine derivative of plástēs modeler, creator, derivative of plássein to form Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for plastids
  • And then the plastids keep on doing what they do, which is convert sunlight to usable energy.
  • We call these remnants of organisms inside cells plastids.
  • The green photosynthetic plastids inside plant cells are known as chloroplasts.
  • Some retain plastids, but not chloroplasts, while others have lost them entirely.
British Dictionary definitions for plastids


any of various small particles in the cytoplasm of the cells of plants and some animals that contain pigments, starch, oil, protein, etc See chromoplast
Word Origin
C19: via German from Greek plastēs sculptor, from plassein to form
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for plastids



1876, from German plastid, coined by Haeckel from Greek plastos "molded, formed" (see plaster) + -id.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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plastids in Medicine

plastid plas·tid (plās'tĭd)

  1. Any of several pigmented cytoplasmic organelles found in plant cells and other organisms, having various physiological functions, such as the synthesis and storage of food. Also called trophoplast.

  2. One of the granules of foreign or differentiated matter, food particles, or waste material in cells.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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plastids in Science
An organelle found in the cells of plants, green algae, red algae, and certain other protists. Like mitochondria, plastids have an inner and outer membrane, and contain their own DNA and ribosomes. Some plastids, such as the chloroplasts in plant leaves, contain pigments.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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