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A natural process of self-destruction by degradative enzymes in certain cells, such as epithelial cells and erythrocytes, that are genetically programmed to have a limited lifespan or are damaged, as by irradiation or toxic drugs. Also called programmed cell death.
(Biology) biology the programmed death of some of an organism's cells as part of its natural growth and development. Also called: programmed cell death
[C20: from Greek: a falling away, from apo- + ptōsis a falling]
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|Noun||1.||apoptosis - 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|