One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Botany. A plant cell having a distinctly different nature or contents from those of the surrounding tissue.
2Biology. Hertwig's term for: a hypothetical unit of living protoplasm involved in heredity. Now historical and rare.
3Geology. A mineral crystal within a metamorphic rock which has developed its own characteristic crystal faces.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in Sydney Vines (1849–1934), botanist. From German Idioblast from Idio- + -blast.
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