noun, plural: membranes

(1) (biology) A thin layer of tissue covering a surface or lining a cavity, space or organ.

(2) (biology) A cell membrane.

(3) (chemistry) A thin pliable sheet of material that is permeable to substances in solution.


A biological membrane functions by protecting the surface or bodily organ. It acts as a barrier against injurious substances. It also acts as a film or covering separating two regions. It may also connect structures or organs of an animal or a plant.

Word origin: Latin membrāna, skin, from membrum, member of the body.

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