One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Originally: a cytoplasmic body containing haemosiderin or other form of iron (now rare); a phagocytic cell containing such bodies (now rare). In later use: a red blood cell (erythrocyte) in which iron (in a form other than haemoglobin) can be demonstrated by special staining techniques.
Early 20th century; earliest use found in Chemical Abstracts. From sidero- + -cyte, after German Siderozyt.
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