Definition of mitochondrion in English:


nounPlural mitochondria

  • An organelle found in large numbers in most cells, in which the biochemical processes of respiration and energy production occur. It has a double membrane, the inner part being folded inwards to form layers (cristae).

    • ‘The results suggest a shared thiamine transporter for mitochondria and the plasma membrane.’
    • ‘In one of the earliest steps in the evolution of eukaryotic cells, the mitochondrion was derived from an endosymbiosed bacterium.’
    • ‘The singlet oxygen damages cell membranes, mitochondria and cell nuclei.’
    • ‘Inside the cytoplasm are mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum.’
    • ‘Chloroplasts are cell organelles comparable to the mitochondria of animal cells.’


Early 20th century: modern Latin, from Greek mitos ‘thread’ + khondrion (diminutive of khondros ‘granule’).