organelle

An organelle is one small part of a cell that has a very specific function or job. The nucleus itself is an organelle.

The different parts of a cell, especially the ones that are separated from the rest of the cell by a membrane, are known as organelles. Chloroplasts, which convert sunlight to energy, are important organelles in plants, and mitochondria, which create energy from the breakdown of sugars, are vital organelles in most organisms, including humans. Organelle is a diminutive of organ, from the idea that just as organs support the body, organelles support the individual cell.

Definitions of organelle
  1. noun
    a specialized part of a cell; analogous to an organ
    “the first organelle to be identified was the nucleus”
    synonyms: cell organ, cell organelle
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    cilium
    a hairlike projection from the surface of a cell; provides locomotion in free-swimming unicellular organisms
    lysosome
    an organelle found in the cytoplasm of most cells (especially in leukocytes and liver and kidney cells)
    cell nucleus, karyon, nucleus
    a part of the cell containing DNA and RNA and responsible for growth and reproduction
    nucleole, nucleolus
    a small round body of protein in a cell nucleus; such organelles contain RNA and are involved in protein synthesis
    chondriosome, mitochondrion
    an organelle containing enzymes responsible for producing energy
    centriole
    one of a pair of small cylindrical cell organelles near the nucleus in animal cells; composed of nine triplet microtubules and form the asters during mitosis
    ribosome
    any of a group of particles in the cytoplasm of a living cell; they attach to mRNA and move down it one codon at a time and then stop until tRNA brings the required amino acid; when it reaches a stop codon it falls apart and releases the completed protein molecule for use by the cell
    pronucleus
    the nucleus of the ovum or sperm after fertilization but before they fuse to form the nucleus of the zygote
    sarcosome
    a large mitochondrion in a striated muscle fiber
    subthalamic nucleus
    an oval mass of grey matter located in the caudal part of the subthalamus; associated with the striate body
    type of:
    organ
    a fully differentiated structural and functional unit in an animal that is specialized for some particular function
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