Definition of lysis in US English:



  • The disintegration of a cell by rupture of the cell wall or membrane.

    • ‘Presumably, the shock treatments that elicit bursting disrupt the balance of wall synthesis and lysis responsible for cell wall extension.’
    • ‘One class of dosage suppressors is composed of genes encoding cell wall proteins, indicating that alterations in cell wall structure can rescue the cell lysis in ram cells.’
    • ‘However, apart from using an unstable enzyme, our first route had other problems, caused by cell lysis (rupture of the cell walls) during the biotransformation, which hampered product recovery.’
    • ‘Inhibition of cell wall synthesis by penicillin resulted in disruption of the cell wall and lysis of the cell.’
    • ‘Apparently cinnamaldehyde blocks mitochondrial respiration and causes lysis of cultured liver cells.’


Early 19th century: from Latin, from Greek lusis ‘loosening’, from luein ‘loosen’.