Definition of nephron in US English:



  • Each of the functional units in the kidney, consisting of a glomerulus and its associated tubule, through which the glomerular filtrate passes before emerging as urine.

    • ‘The nephron is the functional unit of the kidney where urine is produced.’
    • ‘It performs all these tasks in different parts of the nephron, the functional unit of the kidney.’
    • ‘The renal cortex consists of nephrons and blood vessels.’
    • ‘Stones may form in the kidneys, blocking blood from passing through the nephrons and tubules to be filtered.’
    • ‘If all of the plasma delivered to the kidneys passed through the glomerular filters into the nephrons, the filters would be clogged with a ‘sludge’ of red cells, white cells, and plasma proteins.’


1930s: via German from Greek nephros ‘kidney’.