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See also: Corpuscle


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From Latin corpusculum, diminutive of corpus (body).



corpuscle (plural corpuscles)

  1. A minute particle; an atom; a molecule.
    • 1730, Isaac Newton, “The Second Book of Opticks, Part III, Proposition V”, in Opticks: or, A Treatise of the Reflexions, Refractions, Inflexions and Colours of Light, 4th edition, London, Kingdom of England: William Innys, page 253:
      [b]y mixing divers Liquors, very odd and remarkable Productions and Changes of Colours may be effected, of which no cause can be more obvious and rational than that the saline Corpuscles of one Liquor do variously act upon or unite with the tinging Corpuscles of another, so as to make them swell, or shrink, (whereby not only their bulk but their density also may be changed,) or to divide them into smaller Corpuscles, (whereby a colour'd Liquor may become transparent,) or to make many of them associate into one cluster, whereby two transparent Liquors may compose a colour'd one.
    • 1809, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Friend
      It is the object of the mechanical atomistic philosophy to confound synthesis with synartesis, or rather with mere juxtaposition of corpuscles separated by invisible interspaces.
  2. A protoplasmic animal cell; especially, such as float free, like blood, lymph, and pus corpuscles; or such as are embedded in an intercellular matrix, like connective tissue and cartilage corpuscles.

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