Share this entry

osteoclast Syllabification: os·te·o·clast
Pronunciation: /ˈästēəˌklast/

Definition of osteoclast in English:


A large multinucleate bone cell that absorbs bone tissue during growth and healing.
Example sentences
  • The rate at which cells called osteoclasts break down bone is slowed, and the production of new bone increases.
  • Vitamin D indirectly stimulates osteoclasts to resorb bone and is necessary for the intestinal absorption of calcium.
  • Note the presence of numerous osteoclasts lining the bone trabeculae.


Late 19th century: from osteo- 'bone' + Greek klastēs 'breaker'.



Pronunciation: /ˌästēəˈklastik/
Example sentences
  • Bone mineral density is determined by the homeostasis between osteoblastic bone formation and osteoclastic bone resorption.
  • At the cellular level, there was decreased osteoblastic and increased osteoclastic activity.
  • There is usually scant osteoblastic or osteoclastic activity, and often there is a marrow component with fat or hematopoietic elements.

Definition of osteoclast in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day fortissimo
Pronunciation: fôrˈtisəˌmō
(especially as a direction) very loud or loudly