AskDefine | Define cytoplasm

Dictionary Definition

cytoplasm n : the protoplasm of a cell excluding the nucleus

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. The contents of a cell except for the nucleus. It includes cytosol, organelles, vesicles, and the cytoskeleton.

Derived terms


contents of a cell excluding the nucleus
  • French: cytoplasme
  • Icelandic: umfrymi

See also

Extensive Definition

Cytoplasm is a gelatinous, semi-transparent fluid that fills much of the volume of cells. Eukaryotic cells contain organelles, such as mitochondria that are filled with liquid that is kept separate from the cytoplasm by cell membranes.


The cytoplasm has three major elements; the cytosol, organelles and inclusions. The cytosol is the translucent fluid in which the other cytoplasmic elements are suspended. The cytoplasm holds organelles and protects them, such as the vacuole, endoplasmic reticulum, etc. Cytosol makes up about 70% of the cell and is composed of water, salts and organic molecules. The cytoskeleton, various proteins, ribosomes and enzymes that are necessary for the cell to catalyze reactions are also found throughout the cytosol. The inner, granular and more fluid portion of the cytoplasm is referred to as endoplasm.
The organelles are the metabolic machinery of the cell and are like little organs themselves. Some major organelles that are suspended in the cytosol are the mitochondria, the endoplasmic reticulum, the Golgi apparatus, lysosomes, and in plant cells chloroplasts. The inclusions are chemical substances that store nutrients, secretory products and pigment granules.


The cytoplasm is the site where most cellular activities are done. The functions for cell expansion, growth and replication are carried out in the cytoplasm of the cell. The cytosol has enzymes that take molecules and break them down , so that the individual organelles can use them as they need to. The cytosol also contains the cytoskeleton which gives the cell its shape and can help in the movement of the cell.



  • Alberts, Bruce et al. (2003). Essential Cell Biology, 2nd ed., Garland Science, 2003, ISBN 081533480X.
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology, seventh edition By; Elain N Marieb and Latja Hoehn.
  • Glencoe Science Biology The Dynamics of Life

External links

cytoplasm in Arabic: هيولى (خلية)
cytoplasm in Bengali: সাইটোপ্লাজম
cytoplasm in Bosnian: Citoplazma
cytoplasm in Bulgarian: Цитоплазма
cytoplasm in Catalan: Citoplasma
cytoplasm in Czech: Cytoplazma
cytoplasm in Danish: Cytoplasma
cytoplasm in German: Zytoplasma
cytoplasm in Estonian: Tsütoplasma
cytoplasm in Spanish: Citoplasma
cytoplasm in Esperanto: Citoplasmo
cytoplasm in French: Cytoplasme
cytoplasm in Korean: 세포질
cytoplasm in Indonesian: Sitoplasma
cytoplasm in Italian: Citoplasma
cytoplasm in Hebrew: ציטופלזמה
cytoplasm in Latvian: Citoplazma
cytoplasm in Luxembourgish: Zytoplasma
cytoplasm in Lithuanian: Citoplazma
cytoplasm in Hungarian: Citoplazma
cytoplasm in Macedonian: Цитоплазма
cytoplasm in Malay (macrolanguage): Sitoplasma
cytoplasm in Dutch: Cytoplasma
cytoplasm in Japanese: 細胞質
cytoplasm in Norwegian: Cytoplasma
cytoplasm in Occitan (post 1500): Citoplasma
cytoplasm in Polish: Cytoplazma
cytoplasm in Portuguese: Citoplasma
cytoplasm in Romanian: Citoplasmă
cytoplasm in Russian: Цитоплазма
cytoplasm in Albanian: Citoplazma
cytoplasm in Simple English: Cytoplasm
cytoplasm in Slovak: Cytoplazma
cytoplasm in Slovenian: Citoplazma
cytoplasm in Serbian: Цитоплазма
cytoplasm in Serbo-Croatian: Citoplazma
cytoplasm in Finnish: Solulima
cytoplasm in Swedish: Cytoplasma
cytoplasm in Vietnamese: Tế bào chất
cytoplasm in Turkish: Sitoplazma
cytoplasm in Ukrainian: Цитоплазма
cytoplasm in Chinese: 細胞質

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

animal cell, bioplast, cell, cellular tissue, cellule, chromatoplasm, coenocyte, corpuscle, ectoplasm, endoplasm, energid, eucaryotic cell, germ cell, plant cell, plasmodium, procaryotic cell, protoplasm, reticulum, somatic cell, syncytium, trophoplasm
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1