Definition of ectoplasm in English:



  • 1Biology
    dated The more viscous, clear outer layer of the cytoplasm in amoeboid cells.

    Compare with endoplasm
    • ‘Most acanthareans have a fibrous capsule separating endoplasm and ectoplasm.’
    • ‘Like other radiolarians, the cytoplasm of Polycystinea is divided into ectoplasm and endoplasm by a perforated protein capsule - not the nuclear membrane, but a novel structure unique to this group.’
  • 2A supernatural viscous substance that supposedly exudes from the body of a medium during a spiritualistic trance and forms the material for the manifestation of spirits.

    • ‘The Baldwins also have a small collection of photos containing what appears to be ectoplasm.’
    • ‘The third way in which ectoplasm images articulate the referentiality of photography via the body builds upon the first two.’
    • ‘She began to feel terribly cold as she plummeted through the depths of the pond, feeling its matter travel through her body, through her skin and bones and internal organs like some ghostly ectoplasm.’
    • ‘This entity was supposed to be a manifestation or thought-form akin to the ectoplasm that is generated by mediums while in a trance state.’
    • ‘I do believe in one of the photos it does show some dust, but the rest look like ectoplasm with orbs.’
    • ‘He dominates this show from the start, greeting you on a huge screen with his upside-down face, spewing out six metres of gauze like some psychic medium ejecting ectoplasm.’
    • ‘Later I discovered that the carpet was drenched with a foul smelling liquid that I can only assume is ectoplasm.’
    • ‘Physical manifestations or ‘materializations’ of spirits are also said to be produced by ectoplasm.’
    • ‘He shudders as Jack leaves his body, trailing ectoplasm and humming ‘I'm the Wolf.’’
    • ‘The question then arose of how the dead could influence the physical world, and one answer was that they used a substance called ectoplasm.’
    • ‘Most photographs of ectoplasm make it look like the kind of stuff you could pick up at the local yardage store or buy from Amazon.’
    • ‘For spirits to appear, for ectoplasm to emanate, for UFOs to descend, darkness is essential.’
    • ‘By contrast, ectoplasm photographs depict a human medium in the throes of violent struggle with an invisible entity.’
    • ‘The fact that these ectoplasms are not living is not an objection at all: there is nothing to prevent us from admitting that the ectoplasm may be merely an image, and not a living being.’