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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Myeloid \My"e*loid\, a. [Gr. myelo`s marrow + -oid.] Resembling marrow in appearance or consistency; as, a myeloid tumor.


a. 1 Of or pertaining to bone marrow 2 Of or pertaining to the spinal cord

  1. adj. of or relating to bone marrow

  2. of or relating to the spinal cord


The term myeloid (myelo- + -oid) is an adjective that in its broadest sense means either "pertaining to bone marrow" or "resembling bone marrow", and the related adjective myelogenous (myelo- + -genous) means "arising from bone marrow". In hematopoiesis, both terms refer to blood cells that arise from a progenitor cell for granulocytes, monocytes, erythrocytes, or platelets (the common myeloid progenitor or CMP) and often even more specifically to the lineage of the myeloblast (the myelocytes, monocytes, and their daughter types); thus, although all blood cells, even lymphocytes, are born in the bone marrow, myeloid cells in the narrowest sense of the term can be distinguished from lymphoid cells, that is, lymphocytes, which come from common lymphoid progenitor cells (CLPs) that give rise to B cells and T cells. Those cells' differentiation (that is, lymphopoiesis) is not complete until they migrate to lymphatic organs such as the spleen and thymus for programming by antigen challenge. Thus, among leukocytes, the term myeloid is associated with the innate immune system, in contrast to lymphoid, which is associated with the adaptive immune system. Similarly, myelogenous usually refers to nonlymphocytic white blood cells, and erythroid can often be used to distinguish "erythrocyte-related" from that sense of myeloid and from lymphoid. The word myelopoiesis has several senses in a way that parallels those of myeloid, and myelopoiesis in the narrower sense is the regulated formation specifically of myeloid leukocytes (myelocytes), allowing that sense of myelopoiesis to be contradistinguished from erythropoiesis and lymphopoiesis (even though all blood cells are born in the marrow).

There is one other sense of myeloid that means "pertaining to the spinal cord", but it is much less commonly used. Myeloid should not be confused with myelin, referring to an insulating layer covering the axons of many neurons.

Myeloid neoplasms always concern bone marrow and are related to hematopoietic cells.

Usage examples of "myeloid".

The physicians have diagnosed that the boy is suffering from myeloid leucosis, of a virulent type usually found in adults, and they can do nothing for him.

Clotilde, knowing that Mrs Duckworth was suffering from myeloid leukaemia and had a not very hopeful future, reflected, as she so often did when he was on the ward, that he was not only very good at his job, he was good at handling people too, passing on some of his own calm and never seeming to be in a hurry.