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vocab for the "The Cell" unit in biology.




outside of


above, beyond, over


beneath, under, less


dissolve, decompose

active transport

movement of chemicals, usually across the cell membrane, against a concentration gradient; requires cells to use energy

concentration gradient

a difference in the concentration of a substance across a distance

contractile vacuole

in protists, an organelle that accumulates water and then releases it periodically to maintain osmotic pressure (osmosis ☺)


the bursting of a cell


the movement of particles from high density to low density areas


the process by which a cell membrane surrounds a particle and encloses the particle in a vesicle to bring the particle into the cell


the process by which a substance is released from a cell through a vesicle that transports the substance to the cell surface and then fuses with the membrane to let the substance out


a state when the concentration of a substance is the same throughout

facilitated diffusion

the transport of substances through the cell membrane along a concentration gradient with the aid of carrier proteins


describes a solution whose solute concentration is higher than the solute concentration inside the cell


describes a solution whose solute concentration is lower than the solute concentration inside the cell


describes a solution whose solute concentration is equal to the solute concentration inside the cell


the diffusion of water or another solvent from a more dilute solution to a more concentrated solution (through a membrane that is permeable to the solvent)

passive transport

the movement of substances across a cell membrane without the use of energy by the cell


the process by which a cell engulfs large particles or whole cells, either as a defense mechanism or as a means to obtain food


a method of active transport across the cell membrane in which the cell takes in extra fluids


the contraction of a plant cell membrane in a hypertonic solution in response to the loss of water by osmosis

sodium - potassium pump

a carrier protein that uses ATP to actively transport sodium ions out of a cell and potassium ions out of the cell

turgor pressure

the pressure that is exerted on the inside of cell walls and that is caused by the movement of water into the cell


a small cavity that contains materials in a eukaryotic cell; forms when part of the cell membrane surrounds the materials to be taken into the cell or transported within the cell

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