Definition of enucleate in English:



[with object]
  • 1Biology
    Remove the nucleus from (a cell)

    as adjective enucleated ‘replication will occur in enucleated cells’
    • ‘An egg cell is enucleated, that is, the nucleus is removed and replaced with the nucleus from the body cell of an animal of the same kind.’
    • ‘The fact that erythrocyte size correlates positively with genome size in mammals, even though their mature red blood cells are enucleated, strongly supports this hypothesis.’
    • ‘DNA from human skin cells were placed within enucleated human embryos and then exposed to chemical and growth factors.’
    • ‘Having found that cumulus cells yielded better results, unfertilised mouse eggs were enucleated and their donor's nuclei put in place.’
    • ‘They took the eggs from donor sheep and removed the nuclei from them, creating enucleated eggs.’
  • 2Surgically remove (a tumour or gland, or the eyeball) intact from its surrounding capsule.

    ‘when an eyeball is enucleated, as much of the optic nerve as possible should be removed’
    • ‘The prostates were subsequently enucleated or removed and examined by a pathologist.’
    • ‘Once freed, the tumor is enucleated through the incision using the curette.’
    • ‘All other tumors were enucleated and no recurrence was encountered.’
    • ‘The tumor recurred 1 year later and was enucleated again at the local hospital.’
    • ‘The blind left eye was enucleated in January 2001 to help establish the diagnosis and showed a mass lesion involving the vitreous cavity and with a mild thickening of the choroid.’


  • (of a cell) lacking a nucleus.

    • ‘The results strongly suggest that some mRNA species are imported into sieve elements, which are enucleate, from neighbouring companion cells.’
    • ‘Erythrocytes are enucleate and contain primarily globin mRNA.’
    • ‘Tapetal cells have a very short life span and for the most part are fully functional while being enucleate.’
    • ‘There were no obviously enucleate cells, no apoptotic bodies, and no evidence of dead crushed cells (data not shown).’
    • ‘These small, enucleate cells are produced from large parent cells, the megakaryocytes, in the bone marrow.’


Mid 16th century (in the sense ‘clarify, explain’): from Latin enucleat- ‘extracted, made clear’, from the verb enucleare, from e- (variant of ex-) ‘out of’ + nucleus ‘kernel’ (see nucleus).