American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Capable of contracting or causing contraction: Muscle is a contractile tissue.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Susceptible of contraction; having the property of contracting or shrinking into a smaller compass or length: as, contractile muscles or fibers. Producing contraction; capable of shortening or making smaller.
- Specifically In entomology, capable of being doubled in close to the lower surface of the thorax, and fitting into grooves so as to be hardly distinguishable from the general surface: said of the legs, etc., of insects. This structure is found in many Coleoptera which feign death on being alarmed. The body of an insect is said to be contractile when the prothorax and head can be folded down on the trunk, as in certain Coleoptera and Hymenoptera.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. tending to contract; having the power or property of contracting, or of shrinking into shorter or smaller dimensions.
- adj. capable of contracting or being contracted
“The protoplasm is more or less extensively excavated by fluid spaces, vacuoles; one clearer circular space or vacuole, which is invariably present, appears at intervals, enlarges gradually, and then vanishes abruptly, to reappear after a brief interval; this is called the contractile vacuole (c.v.).”
“The euglenas main way of transporting itself is by swimming, the flagellum is mad up of of four part known as contractile fibrils, it uses these four fibrils to bend back and forth moving the creature along.”
“The euglenas main way of transporting itself is by swimming, the flagellum is mad up of of four part known as contractile fibrils, it uses these four fibrils to bend back and forth moving the creature to wherever it needs to go.”
“The authors describe how the romantic poets saw the heart's beating as the "fountain of life" and note how Harvey's famous book on the heart emphasized in its very title, "De Motu Cordis," the contractile motions that are a key to its function.”
“The theory of evolution offers a framework for understanding how terrestrial life has evolved sensory mechanisms for transducing various types of energy from the environment, such as light, heat, and mechanical energy, into electrical and chemical signals that ultimately guide physical behavior by, to summarize tersely, impacting on contractile elements in cells that, consuming chemical energy ultiamtely derived from solar energy, produce mechanical energy that results in motor movement.”
“Think of actin and myosin, the contractile proteins.”
“If you just find a way to rev up those contractile fibers for the muscle, then everything else from human biology and gait would allow us to be that fast," said physiologist Peter Weyand of Southern Methodist University, lead author of a study published Jan. 21 in the”
“Oster and his colleagues tried the experiment, on their computer model, of lowering the ‘firing threshold’ of the contractile filaments.”
“Rather than allowing the one contractile filament in their model to contract at will, they built into it a property which is common in certain kinds of muscle fibre: when stretched beyond a certain critical length, the fibre would respond by contracting to a much shorter length than the normal equilibrium length.”
“Then they took one cell and tweaked its contractile filament to provoke it into contracting.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘contractile’.
"Luciferous Logolepsy is a collection of over 9,000 obscure English words. Though the definition of an 'English' word might seem to be straightforward, it is not. There exist so many adopted, deriv...
A roster of adjectives that infrequently surface in typical conversation and writing. Many are dredged from scientific or other technical jargon or sieved from examples of disused archaic forms.
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