corpuscle

The word corpuscle is a medical term for a living cell, such as a red blood cell.

You're most likely to come across the noun corpuscle in a biology class, since it means a small cell, especially one that is free floating. Blood and lymph cells are both considered to be corpuscles because they are suspended in liquid within the body. Sometimes the word is used to mean simply "a small piece of something," which is how corpuscle was originally used, rooted in the Latin corpusculum, "a puny body, an atom, or a particle."

Definitions of corpuscle
  1. noun
    either of two types of cells (erythrocytes and leukocytes) and sometimes including platelets
    synonyms: blood cell, blood corpuscle
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 20 types...
    hide 20 types...
    WBC, leucocyte, leukocyte, white blood cell, white blood corpuscle, white cell, white corpuscle
    blood cells that engulf and digest bacteria and fungi; an important part of the body's defense system
    packed cells
    a preparation of blood cells separated from the liquid plasma
    RBC, erythrocyte, red blood cell
    a mature blood cell that contains hemoglobin to carry oxygen to the bodily tissues; a biconcave disc that has no nucleus
    myelocyte
    an immature leukocyte normally found in bone marrow
    myeloblast
    a precursor of leukocytes that normally occurs only in bone marrow
    macrocyte, megalocyte
    abnormally large red blood cell (associated with pernicious anemia)
    megaloblast
    abnormally large red blood cell present in pernicious anemia and folic acid deficiency
    lymph cell, lymphocyte
    an agranulocytic leukocyte that normally makes up a quarter of the white blood cell count but increases in the presence of infection
    granulocyte
    a leukocyte that has granules in its cytoplasm
    monocyte
    a type of granular leukocyte that functions in the ingestion of bacteria
    basophil, basophile
    a leukocyte with basophilic granules easily stained by basic stains
    neutrophil, neutrophile
    the chief phagocytic leukocyte; stains with either basic or acid dyes
    eosinophil, eosinophile
    a leukocyte readily stained with eosin
    acanthocyte
    an abnormal red blood cell that has thorny projections of protoplasm
    microcyte
    an abnormally small red blood cell (less than 5 microns in diameter)
    reticulocyte
    an immature red blood cell containing a network of filaments or granules
    sickle cell
    an abnormal red blood cell that has a crescent shape and an abnormal form of hemoglobin
    siderocyte
    an abnormal red blood cell containing granules of iron not bound in hemoglobin
    spherocyte
    an abnormal spherical red blood cell
    target cell
    an abnormal red blood cell with the appearance of a dark ring surrounding a dark center; associated with anemia
    type of:
    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
  2. noun
    (nontechnical usage) a tiny piece of anything
    synonyms: atom, molecule, mote, particle, speck
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 7 types...
    hide 7 types...
    grain
    a relatively small granular particle of a substance
    grinding
    material resulting from the process of grinding
    chylomicron
    a microscopic particle of triglycerides produced in the intestines during digestion; in the bloodstream they release their fatty acids into the blood
    flyspeck
    a tiny dark speck made by the excrement of a fly
    identification particle
    a tiny particle of material that can be added to a product to indicate the source of manufacture
    granule
    a tiny grain
    Microtaggant
    (trademark) a microscopic and traceable identification particle used to trace explosives or other hazardous materials or to prevent counterfeiting
    type of:
    material, stuff
    the tangible substance that goes into the makeup of a physical object
Word Family