One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A thin sheet of tissue or layer of cells acting as a boundary, lining, or partition in an organism.
- ‘Our brains are literally made of fat and our nerves are sheathed in thin membranes of it.’
- ‘Structurally it is a membrane surrounding the heart, and physiologically it protects the heart.’
- ‘Carefully slice away the thin membrane which covers the monkfish tail, to reveal the firm white meat.’
- ‘Osmosis is important in food preparation because the cell walls of living organisms are semipermeable membranes.’
- ‘Fibers in the wing membrane added structural support and stiffness.’
- 1.1 A thin pliable sheet of material forming a barrier or lining.‘the concrete should include a membrane to prevent water seepage’
- ‘The process involves forcing water through very fine membranes small enough to trap molecules of pollutants, but large enough to allow the water to pass.’
- ‘Because of surface tension, the water does not fall out of the tiny hole, although a thin membrane may be added, just to be safe.’
- ‘The ridge of the roof is a water channel from which water overflows onto the thin roofing membrane of stone and glass.’
- ‘So many layers of colour have been piled on the canvas that a rubbery membrane of paint hangs over the sharp edges of the frame.’
- ‘The cost of labor is virtually the same as for the thinner membrane, but puncture resistance is greatly enhanced.’
- 1.2Biology A microscopic double layer of lipids and proteins that bounds cells and organelles and forms structures within cells.
- ‘Other organelles have double membranes, consisting of two phospholipid bilayers.’
- ‘The interaction of electric fields with lipid membranes and cells has been extensively studied in the last decades.’
- ‘The lateral organization and dynamics of lipids and proteins in membranes is critical to many cellular processes.’
- ‘Although there are, as far as is known, no quantitative data, hydrogen peroxide is usually thought to move rapidly across the membranes of cells and organelles.’
- ‘This phospholipid bilayer is the fundamental structure of all biological membranes.’
Late Middle English: from Latin membrana, from membrum ‘limb’.
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