Cell has several different meanings, but all of them are similar. Whether it's in a prison or in your blood (or even in the political landscape), a cell is a small room, space, or unit.

Blood is composed of countless individual cells, as are virtually all of the organs of the body: skin, liver, lungs, brain, etc. The cell is the basic unit of all biology. A cell in a prison is the room in which a prisoner lives. But did you know that a cell can also be a small group of people devoted to a larger political cause? The government's security forces are constantly on the lookout for terrorist "sleeper cells" and would love to get the members of a sleeper cell into a prison cell.

Definitions of cell
  1. noun
    (biology) the basic structural and functional unit of all organisms; they may exist as independent units of life (as in monads) or may form colonies or tissues as in higher plants and animals
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    a cell or organism in which genetic recombination has occurred
    any cell resulting from cleavage of a fertilized egg
    flagellated cell
    any cell or one-celled organism equipped with a flagellum
    fiber, fibre
    any of several elongated, threadlike cells (especially a muscle fiber or a nerve fiber)
    Kupffer's cell
    specialized cells in the liver that destroy bacteria, foreign proteins, and worn-out blood cells
    beta cell
    a cell that produces insulin in the isles of Langerhans in the pancreas
    somatic cell, vegetative cell
    any of the cells of a plant or animal except the reproductive cells; a cell that does not participate in the production of gametes
    a mass of undifferentiated cells from which an organ or body part develops
    fertilized ovum, zygote
    (genetics) the diploid cell resulting from the union of a haploid spermatozoon and ovum (including the organism that develops from that cell)
    a cell resulting from parthenogenesis
    embryonic cell, formative cell
    a cell of an embryo
    acaryote, akaryocyte, akaryote
    a cell without a nucleus (as an erythrocyte)
    germ cell, reproductive cell, sex cell
    a spermatozoon or an ovum; a cell responsible for transmitting DNA to the next generation
    an immature animal or plant cell that develops into a gamete by meiosis
    polar body
    a small cell containing little cytoplasm that is produced along with the oocyte and later discarded
    Leydig cell, Leydig's cell
    a cell in the testes that secretes the hormone testosterone
    Sertoli cell, Sertoli's cell
    elongated cells found in the seminiferous tubules of the testis; apparently they nourish the spermatids
    plant cell
    a cell that is a structural and functional unit of a plant
    archespore, archesporium
    primitive cell or group of cells from which a mother cell develops
    daughter cell
    a cell formed by the division or budding of another cell
    mother cell
    cell from which another cell of an organism (usually of a different sort) develops
    one of a string of thick walled vegetative resting cells formed by some algae and fungi
    a body that resembles a spore but is not an endospore; produced by some bacteria
    choanocyte, collar cell
    any of the flagellated cells in sponges having a collar of cytoplasm around the flagellum; they maintain a flow of water through the body
    skin cell
    any of the cells making up the skin
    epithelial cell
    one of the closely packed cells forming the epithelium
    neoplastic cell
    a cell that is part of tumor
    (genetics) an organism having two different alleles of a particular gene and so giving rise to varying offspring
    (genetics) an organism having two identical alleles of a particular gene and so breeding true for the particular characteristic
    bone cell
    a cell that is part of a bone
    an undifferentiated embryonic cell
    a cell from which tooth enamel develops
    bone-forming cell, osteoblast
    a cell from which bone develops
    a nucleated cell in bone marrow from which red blood cells develop
    a cell from which connective tissue develops
    a cell from which a nerve cell develops
    blood cell, blood corpuscle, corpuscle
    either of two types of cells (erythrocytes and leukocytes) and sometimes including platelets
    phagocyte, scavenger cell
    a cell that engulfs and digests debris and invading microorganisms
    visual cell
    one of the cells of the retina that is sensitive to light
    adipose cell, fat cell
    cells composed of fat
    a mature sexual reproductive cell having a single set of unpaired chromosomes
    a female gametocyte that develops into an ovum after two meiotic divisions
    a male gametocyte that develops into four spermatids
    muscle cell, muscle fiber, muscle fibre
    an elongated contractile cell that forms the muscles of the body
    nerve fiber, nerve fibre
    a threadlike extension of a nerve cell
    Schwann cell
    any cell that covers the nerve fibers in the peripheral nervous system and forms the myelin sheath
    nerve cell, neuron
    a cell that is specialized to conduct nerve impulses
    glial cell, neurogliacyte, neuroglial cell
    a cell of the neuroglia
    a hybrid cell resulting from the fusion of a lymphocyte and a tumor cell; used to culture a specific monoclonal antibody
    labrocyte, mast cell, mastocyte
    a large connective tissue cell that contains histamine and heparin and serotonin which are released in allergic reactions or in response to injury or inflammation
    stem cell
    an undifferentiated cell whose daughter cells may differentiate into other cell types (such as blood cells)
    target cell
    any cell that has a specific receptor for an antigen or antibody or hormone or drug, or is the focus of contact by a virus or phagocyte or nerve fiber etc.
    spore mother cell
    cell from which a spore develops
    type of:
    animate thing, living thing
    a living (or once living) entity
  2. noun
    small room in which a monk or nun lives
    synonyms: cubicle
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    type of:
    an area within a building enclosed by walls and floor and ceiling
  3. noun
    a room where a prisoner is kept
    synonyms: jail cell, prison cell
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    bullpen, detention cell, detention centre
    a large cell where prisoners (people awaiting trial or sentence or refugees or illegal immigrants) are confined together temporarily
    cooler, tank
    a cell for violent prisoners
    a dark cell (usually underground) where prisoners can be confined
    a cell in which soldiers who are prisoners are confined
    hold, keep
    a cell in a jail or prison
    small or narrow cell
    a dungeon with the only entrance or exit being a trap door in the ceiling
    type of:
    an area within a building enclosed by walls and floor and ceiling
  4. noun
    any small compartment
    “the cells of a honeycomb”
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    type of:
    a space into which an area is subdivided
  5. noun
    a small unit serving as part of or as the nucleus of a larger political movement
    synonyms: cadre
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    sleeper cell
    a cell of sleepers
    radical cell, terrorist cell
    a cell of terrorists (usually 3 to 5 members)
    operational cell
    a terrorist cell that performs clandestine activities
    intelligence cell
    a terrorist cell whose members are trained to perform reconnaissance and surveillance
    auxiliary cell
    a terrorist cell responsible for logistics; usually large and less compartmentalized than other terrorist cells
    type of:
    political entity, political unit
    a unit with political responsibilities
  6. noun
    a device that delivers an electric current as the result of a chemical reaction
    synonyms: electric cell
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    electrolytic cell
    a cell containing an electrolyte in which an applied voltage causes a reaction to occur that would not occur otherwise (such as the breakdown of water into hydrogen and oxygen)
    fuel cell
    cell that produces electricity by oxidation of fuel (hydrogen and oxygen or zinc and air); often used in electric cars
    photovoltaic cell, solar cell
    a cell that converts solar energy into electrical energy
    secondary cell, storage cell
    a cell that can be recharged
    galvanic cell, primary cell, voltaic cell
    an electric cell that generates an electromotive force by an irreversible conversion of chemical to electrical energy; cannot be recharged
    Leclanche cell
    voltaic cell that produces approximately 1.5 volts
    mercury cell
    a primary cell consisting of a zinc anode and a cathode of mercury oxide and an electrolyte of potassium hydroxide
    standard cell
    a primary cell used as a standard of electromotive force
    wet cell
    a primary voltaic cell having a liquid electrolyte
    type of:
    electrical device
    a device that produces or is powered by electricity
  7. noun
    a hand-held mobile radiotelephone for use in an area divided into small sections, each with its own short-range transmitter/receiver
    synonyms: cellphone, cellular phone, cellular telephone, mobile phone
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    type of:
    radiophone, radiotelephone, wireless telephone
    a telephone that communicates by radio waves rather than along cables
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