Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to eucaryote: procaryote


an organism of the Eucaryotae, whose cells (eukaryotic cells) have a true nucleus that is bounded by a nuclear membrane, contains the chromosomes, and divides by mitosis. Eukaryotic cells also contain membrane-bound organelles, such as mitochondria, chloroplasts, lysosomes, and the Golgi apparatus. Plants and animals, protozoa, fungi, and algae (except blue-green algae) are eukaryotes. Other organisms (the bacteria) are prokaryotes.


1. A cell containing a membrane-bound nucleus with chromosomes of DNA and proteins, generally large (10-100 mcm), with cell division involving a form of mitosis in which mitotic spindles (or some microtubule arrangement) are involved; mitochondria are present, and, in photosynthetic species, plastids are found; undulipodia (cilia or flagella) are of the complex 9+2 organization of microtubules and various proteins. Possession of an eukaryote type of cell characterizes the four kingdoms above the Monera or prokaryote level of complexity: Protoctista, Fungi, Plantae, and Animalia, combined into the superkingdom Eukaryotae.
2. Common name for members of the Eukaryotae.
Synonym(s): eucaryote
[eu- + G. karyon, kernel, nut]


(yo͞o-kăr′ē-ōt′, -ē-ət)
Variant of eukaryote.

eucaryote, eucaryotic

See eukaryote.