Meaning of CELL in English
cell S3 W2 /sel/ BrE AmE noun [countable]
[ Date: 1100-1200 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: celle , from Latin cella 'small room' ]
1 . BODY the smallest part of a living thing that can exist independently
red blood cells
Embryos grow by cell division (=the splitting of cells) .
PRISON a small room in a prison or police station where prisoners are kept:
He spent a night in the cells at the local police station.
the walls of his prison cell
3 . PHONE American English a ↑ cellular phone ; a telephone that you can carry around with you, that works by using a network of radio stations to pass on signals SYN mobile British English :
Call me on my cell if you’re running late.
4 . ELECTRIC a piece of equipment for producing electricity from chemicals, heat, or light:
a car powered by electric fuel cells
5 . SECRET GROUP a small group of people who are working secretly as part of a larger political organization:
a terrorist cell
6 . RELIGIOUS a small room in a ↑ monastery or ↑ convent where someone sleeps
7 . INSECT/SMALL ANIMAL a small space that an insect or other small creature has made to live in or use:
the cells of a honeycomb
• • •
■ ADJECTIVES/NOUN + cell
▪ a blood/nerve/brain/muscle etc cell
No new brain cells are produced after birth.
▪ a human/animal/plant cell
the structure of plant cells
▪ a red cell (=the most common type of blood cell)
The red cells carry the oxygen.
▪ a white cell (=a type of blood cell that defends your body against disease)
In leukaemia there is an abnormal and excessive formation of white cells.
▪ a living/dead cell
Every living cell has a nucleus.
The test enables doctors to detect abnormal cells.
▪ a stem cell (=one that divides and repairs the body, and may be used in medical treatment)
Stem cells may make life-saving treatment possible.
▪ a cancer cell
Already there are many treatments which destroy cancer cells.
▪ a cell divides
White blood cells divide rapidly.
■ cell + NOUN
▪ cell division
The embryo grows by cell division.
▪ a cell count (=the number of cells in a particular amount of blood)
A healthy person' s red cell count is close to 1, 000.
• • •
▪ prison a large building where people are kept as a punishment for a crime or while they are waiting to go to court for their trial:
He was sentenced to five years in prison.
▪ jail a prison, or a similar smaller building where prisoners are kept for a short time:
This old building is the jail that Butch Cassidy escaped from in 1887.
He was taken to a cell in the Los Angeles County Jail.
58% of prisoners are in jail for non-violent crimes.
The strikers were harassed, beaten and put in jail for trespassing.
Grover got caught for not paying his taxes and was sent to jail.
▪ gaol /dʒeɪl/ British English another way of spelling jail :
He spent the night in gaol.
▪ penitentiary /ˌpenəˈtenʃəri, ˌpenɪˈtenʃəri/ American English a large prison for people who are guilty of serious crimes:
the Ohio State Penitentiary
The murderer served 10 years at the penitentiary in Stillwater.
the abandoned federal penitentiary on Alcatraz Island
▪ correctional facility American English formal an official word for a prison:
1,000 prisoners rioted at the North County Correctional Facility.
▪ detention centre British English , detention center American English a place where young people who have done something illegal are kept, because they are too young to go to prison. Also used about a place where people who have entered a country illegally are kept:
Kevin, who had been abandoned by his mother, had been in and out of detention centres all his life.
a juvenile detention center
Harmondsworth detention centre, near Heathrow airport
▪ open prison British English a prison in which prisoners have more freedom than in an ordinary prison, usually because their crimes were less serious:
In some open prisons, prisoners are allowed to go home at weekends.
▪ cell a small room in a prison or police station, where someone is kept as a punishment:
a prison cell
Conditions were poor, and there were several prisoners to one cell.
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English. Longman - Словарь современного английского языка. 2012