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[tish-oo or, esp. British, tis-yoo] /ˈtɪʃ u or, esp. British, ˈtɪs yu/
Biology. an aggregate of similar cells and cell products forming a definite kind of structural material with a specific function, in a multicellular organism.
any of several kinds of soft gauzy papers used for various purposes:
cleansing tissue; toilet tissue.
an interwoven or interconnected series or mass:
a tissue of falsehoods.
a piece of thin writing paper on which carbon copies are made.
a woven fabric, especially one of light or gauzy texture, originally woven with gold or silver:
a blouse of a delicate tissue.
verb (used with object), tissued, tissuing.
to remove (a cosmetic or cream) with a facial tissue (often followed by off):
Tissue all cosmetics off the face before going to bed.
to weave, especially with threads of gold and silver.
Origin of tissue
1325-75; Middle English tissew, variant of tissu < Middle French, Old French, noun use of past participle of tistre to weave < Latin texere
Related forms
tissual, adjective
tissuey, adjective
intertissued, adjective
untissued, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for tissues
  • They happen when cells specialise so as to become parts of particular body tissues.
  • Concentrated in this way, they cause the tissues at the focus to vibrate and heat up dramatically.
  • Under a microscope, the vessels and soft tissues display the same form of calcium that you find in bone.
  • At the cellular level, tissues displayed gene-level changes almost identical to those produced by caloric restriction.
  • By augmenting blood flow to tissues, the research team hopes to enhance oxygen delivery too.
  • The form of the capillary net varies in the different tissues, the meshes being generally rounded or elongated.
  • From it the remaining tissues of the body are developed.
  • In the forge's dust and cinders, in the tissues of the loom.
  • The ramifications of this vessel anastomose with the arteries of the cancellous and compact tissues.
  • Because the wood is unadulterated, the tissues hold a chemical record of weather patterns during the period the tree lived.
British Dictionary definitions for tissues


/ˈtɪʃuː; ˈtɪsjuː/
a part of an organism consisting of a large number of cells having a similar structure and function: connective tissue, nerve tissue
a thin piece of soft absorbent paper, usually of two or more layers, used as a disposable handkerchief, towel, etc
an interwoven series: a tissue of lies
a woven cloth, esp of a light gauzy nature, originally interwoven with threads of gold or silver
verb (transitive)
(rare) to weave into tissue
to decorate or clothe with tissue or tissue paper
Word Origin
C14: from Old French tissu woven cloth, from tistre to weave, from Latin texere
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 tissues



mid-14c., "band or belt of rich material," from Old French tissu "a ribbon, headband, belt of woven material" (c.1200), noun use of tissu "woven, interlaced," past participle of tistre "to weave," from Latin texere "weave" (see texture). The biological sense is first recorded 1831, from French, introduced c.1800 by French anatomist Marie-François-Xavier Bichal (1771-1802). Tissue-paper is from 1777, supposedly so called because it was made to be placed between tissues to protect them. Meaning "piece of absorbent paper used as a handkerchief" is from 1929.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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tissues in Medicine

tissue tis·sue (tĭsh'ōō)
An aggregation of morphologically similar cells and associated intercellular matter acting together to perform specific functions in the body. There are four basic types of tissue: muscle, nerve, epithelial, and connective.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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tissues in Science
A large mass of similar cells that make up a part of an organism and perform a specific function. The internal organs and connective structures (including bone and cartilage) of vertebrates, and cambium, xylem, and phloem in plants are made up of different types of tissue.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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