Definition of protoplasm in English:



  • The colorless material comprising the living part of a cell, including the cytoplasm, nucleus, and other organelles.

    • ‘It was eventually realised that the culprit was a non-cellular form of ‘life’ that could diffuse through the cell walls and membranes into the cell's protoplasm.’
    • ‘Their protoplasm has a distinct reticular structure and contains-especially in the experiments with the introduction of egg yolk into the subcutaneous tissue-numerous clear vacuoles and granular inclusions.’
    • ‘They do not store vital dyes and, in the structure of their nucleus and the behavior of their protoplasm, resemble mesenchymal cells.’
    • ‘The protoplasm is extruded as pseudopods via the aperture and through any perforations that may be present in the test.’
    • ‘It is likely that lignified cells that lack membranes and protoplasm also lack sensitivity.’


Mid 19th century: from Greek prōtoplasma (see proto-, plasma).