One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Chiefly Biology. A middle section or part of a structure, organism, etc.
2Cell Biology. A region of the spermatozoon located behind the neck and ensheathed in closely-packed mitochondria.
3Immunology. A component of complement identified in the euglobulin fraction (consisting chiefly of the first component, C1). Now historical.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in American Naturalist. From mid + piece.
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