From German Protoplasma, coined by Czech physiologist Johannes Evangelista Purkinje, from Ancient Greek πρῶτος (prôtos, “first”) + πλάσμα (plásma, “something molded”). The word Protoplasmus was used in Late Latin, meaning “first created human” (i.e. Adam), and may have existed in Byzantine Greek in a different sense.
- (cytology) The entire contents of a cell comprising the nucleus and the cytoplasm. It is a semi-fluid, transparent substance which is the living matter of plant and animal cells.