1. Physiology A specialized cell or group of nerve endings that responds to sensory stimuli.
2. Biochemistry A molecular structure or site on the surface or interior of a cell that binds with substances such as hormones, antigens, or neurotransmitters or is activated by events such as a change in the concentration of an ion.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 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.