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red blood cell

Physiology. one of the cells of the blood, which in mammals are enucleate disks concave on both sides, contain hemoglobin, and carry oxygen to the cells and tissues and carbon dioxide back to the respiratory organs.
Abbreviation: RBC.
Also called erythrocyte, red cell, red blood corpuscle.
Origin of red blood cell
1905-10 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for red blood cells
Historical Examples
  • Iron also is an extremely important mineral, for it is used in the building of red blood cells.

    A Civic Biology George William Hunter
  • The red blood cells pass through the lungs, and take little loads of air.

    Applied Physiology Frank Overton
  • The worm is sometimes called the lazy germ because it destroys the red blood cells and makes the body feel weak and lazy.

    Health Lessons Alvin Davison
  • In the capillaries the air leaves the red blood cells, and goes to the cells of the body.

    Applied Physiology Frank Overton
  • Anemia is caused by an abnormal drop in either red blood cells or hemoglobin (the main constituent of red blood cells).

  • A condition in which the blood is reduced in amount or is deficient in red blood cells or in hemoglobin.

  • The cells cannot reach the air themselves, and so the red blood cells bring it to them.

    Applied Physiology Frank Overton
  • However, it takes weeks for the hemoglobin (the oxygen-bearing substance in the red blood cells) to be brought up to normal.

  • There the red blood cells take up some of the air, and carry it with them.

    Applied Physiology Frank Overton
British Dictionary definitions for red blood cells

red blood cell

another name for erythrocyte
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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red blood cells in Medicine

red blood cell n.
Abbr. RBC, rbc
A disk-shaped, biconcave cell in the blood that contains hemoglobin, lacks a nucleus, and transports oxygen and carbon dioxide to and from the tissues. Also called erythrocyte, red cell, red corpuscle.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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red blood cells in Science
red blood cell  
Any of the oval or disc-shaped cells that circulate in the blood of vertebrate animals, contain hemoglobin, and give blood its red color. The hemoglobin in red blood cells binds to oxygen for transport and delivery to body tissues, and it transports carbon dioxide, excreted as a metabolic waste product, out of the tissues. The red blood cells of mammals have no nucleus, while those of other vertebrates do contain nuclei. Red blood cells are formed in the bone marrow. Also called erythrocyte.

Our Living Language  : While 60 percent of the US population is eligible to donate blood, only about 5 percent does. There is no substitute for human blood, which is used for numerous medical situations, including surgery for trauma, cancer treatment, organ transplants, burns, open heart surgeries, anemia, clotting disorders, and treating premature babies. The average red blood cell transfusion is 3.4 pints. Blood, which is made in the bone marrow, has four main components—red cells, platelets, plasma, and white cells. Red blood cells, or erythrocytes, transport oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. These disk-shaped cells contain hemoglobin, an iron-containing protein that picks up oxygen molecules as the blood exchanges gases in the lungs. The red blood cells, which can live about 120 days in the circulatory system, deliver oxygen to the far reaches of the body, where it is released for use by other cells, such as those of the brain and muscles. Red blood cells also pick up carbon dioxide and return it to the lungs to be exhaled. All animals have some form of oxygen distribution system, but only vertebrates use red blood cells. In some invertebrates, such as the earthworm, oxygen is transported using hemoglobin that is freely dissolved in the blood. Other invertebrates don't use hemoglobin at all. The horseshoe crab, for instance, uses copper instead of iron, making its blood blue instead of red.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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red blood cells in Culture

red blood cells definition

The disk-shaped cells in the blood that contain hemoglobin. The red blood cells supply oxygen to all body cells and remove the carbon dioxide wastes that result from metabolism.

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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