from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Disintegration of cells into membrane-bound particles that are then eliminated by phagocytosis or by shedding.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a type of cell death in which the cell uses specialized cellular machinery to kill itself; a cell suicide mechanism that enables metazoans to control cell number and eliminate cells that threaten the animal's survival
From Ancient Greek ἀπόπτωσις (apoptōsis, "a falling off"), from ἀπό (apo, "away from") + πτῶσις (ptōsis, "falling"). (Wiktionary)