Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Chemistry A system in which finely divided particles, which are approximately 10 to 10,000 angstroms in size, are dispersed within a continuous medium in a manner that prevents them from being filtered easily or settled rapidly.
  • n. Chemistry The particulate matter so dispersed.
  • n. Physiology The gelatinous product of the thyroid gland, consisting mainly of thyroglobulin, which serves as the precursor and storage form of thyroid hormone.
  • n. Pathology Gelatinous material resulting from colloid degeneration in diseased tissue.
  • adj. Of, relating to, containing, or having the nature of a colloid.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Glue-like.
  • n. A stable system of two phases, one of which is dispersed in the other in the form of very small droplets or particles.
  • n. An intimate mixture of two substances one of which, called the dispersed phase (or colloid), is uniformly distributed in a finely divided state throughout the second substance, called the dispersion medium (or dispersing medium). The dispersion medium may be a gas, a liquid, or a solid, and the dispersed phase may also be any of these, with the exception that one does not speak of a colloidal system of one gas in another. A system of liquid or solid particles colloidally dispersed in a gas is called an aerosol. A system of solid substances or water-insoluble liquids colloidally dispersed in liquid water is called a hydrosol.
  • n. A particle less than 1 micron in diameter, following the Wentworth scale

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Resembling glue or jelly; characterized by a jellylike appearance; gelatinous.
  • n. A substance (as albumin, gum, gelatin, etc.) which is of a gelatinous rather than a crystalline nature, and which diffuses itself through animal membranes or vegetable parchment more slowly than crystalloids do; -- opposed to crystalloid.
  • n. A gelatinous substance found in colloid degeneration and colloid cancer.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Like glue or jelly.
  • In geology, partly amorphous: applied to minerals.
  • n. A substance in a peculiar state of aggregation characterized by slow diffusibility, permeability by crystalloid solutions, etc. See extract.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a mixture with properties between those of a solution and fine suspension

Etymologies

From Ancient Greek κόλλα (kolla, "glue") + -oid. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • Is defined by the Udden-Wentworth scale as a suspension comprised of particles whose diameter is less than a micrometre.

    February 26, 2007