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

n either of two types of cells (erythrocytes and leukocytes) and sometimes including platelets

Synonyms:
blood cell, blood corpuscle
Types:
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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

n (nontechnical usage) a tiny piece of anything

Synonyms:
atom, molecule, mote, particle, speck
Types:
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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

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