Any of various large, phagocytic white blood cells that develop from monocytes, are found in the spleen, liver, and other tissues, and have a variety of functions in the immune system including engulfing and destroying pathogens and dead cells, presenting antigens to activate lymphocytes, and releasing cytokines that mediate inflammation.
mac′ro·phagic (-făjĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.