(Science: cell biology)
The fluid living content of the cell that consists of two major divisions, the cytoplasm and the nucleoplasm (cell nucleus). It is composed mainly of nucleic acids, proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and inorganic salts.
Charles Darwin and his 19th century contemporaries viewed "protoplasm" as the holistic content of a cell; in other words, cells were composed of a mysterious "proto-plasm," a substance that had the ability of self replication.
Related forms: protoplasmic (adjective), protoplasmal (adjective).