Definition of syncytium in English:



  • 1Biology
    A single cell or cytoplasmic mass containing several nuclei, formed by fusion of cells or by division of nuclei.

    • ‘The maze experiments used the plasmodium phase of the mould, a multi-nucleate single cell, or syncytium.’
    • ‘In the early Drosophila embryo, the male and female pronuclei fuse and then undergo 13 rounds of synchronous mitoses without cell division to produce a syncytium.’
    • ‘Within 30 minutes, epidermal cells at the edge of the wound re-oriented and began to fuse, creating a syncytium, or cell with many nuclei, around the puncture.’
    • ‘The result is a syncytium in which many nuclei are present in a common cytoplasm; the embryo essentially remains a single cell during its early development.’
    • ‘The total number of syncytia in one well and the number of nuclei in each syncytia were determined.’
    1. 1.1Embryology A structure composed of syncytia, forming the outermost layer of the trophoblast.
      • ‘That is, the muscle constitutes a functional syncytium.’
      • ‘Their cytoplasm consists of a giant, multinucleated tissue, the trabecular syncytium, which is connected via open and plugged cytoplasmic bridges to cells such as archaeocytes, choanoblasts, and cells with spherical inclusions.’
      • ‘Cardiac muscle fibers form a functional but not a protoplasmic syncytium.’
      • ‘They favored a myoepithelial origin, hypothesizing that the myoepithelial cells enlarge and merge together to form a syncytium.’
      • ‘In reactivated lesions epithelial syncytia and inclusion bodies were not seen; however, virus was demonstrable by polymerase chain reaction and culture.’


Late 19th century from syn-‘together’ + -cyte‘cell’ + -ium.