from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A cell, found in some animals, that is filled with iridescent crystals of guanine

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A refracting substance arranged like a plate in the skin of some fishes.


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  • From the OED:

    (n.) A cell which refracts light to cause iridescence, found in the skin of fishes, cephalopods, and certain other animals.

    1893 CUNNINGHAM & MACMUNN in Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B. CLXXXIV. 767

    The chief features of the iridocytes are their regularity of outline, and their great reflecting power.

    June 28, 2007