Q:

What does "turgid" mean in biology?

A:

Quick Answer

When biologists describe something as "turgid," they mean it is swollen, bloated, puffed up or inflated. The word is often used to describe an organ's distension due to high fluid content. For example: "Mary drank too much water, so her stomach was achy and turgid." The word comes from the Latin "turgidus," which means "to be swollen."

Continue Reading

Full Answer

The word turgid is most commonly used in biology when discussing the process of osmosis. Water rushes into a cell's membrane when it is in a hypotonic state, causing the cell's membrane to press against the cell wall. Thus, the cell is referred to as turgid. The opposite of a turgid state is a flaccid state.

Turgidity is important for healthy plant cells, as it helps them maintain rigidness. In animal cells, by contrast, turgidity is not important because animal cells do not have cell walls and may burst due to the excess water.

The literary definition of turgid is bombastic, overblown and inflated. The word is most often used to describe someone or something that is overdone or exaggerated. For example, one might describe a lengthy action movie or an exhaustive autobiography as turgid. This usage is inspired by the biological definition of the word.

Learn more about Biology

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Who are some famous biologists, and what were their contributions to science?

    A:

    Some of the most famous biologists and their contributions to science are Charles Darwin for the theory of evolution by natural selection, Gregor Mendel for discovering the foundation of modern genetics, and James Watson and Francis Crick for the determining the structure of DNA.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What kingdom are viruses in?

    A:

    Viruses do not belong in any of the five traditional kingdoms of Monera, Protista, Fungi, Plantae and Animalia, but some biologists say they belong in their own kingdom. Viruses lack cells, one criterion used to place entities into the traditional kingdoms.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are some examples of modern science topics?

    A:

    DNA sequencing by geneticists, physicists searching for new particles, biologists studying animal behavior, and astronomers searching for distant galaxies and extraterrestrial life are examples of modern science topics. Global climate change, seismology and genetically modified organisms are among other topics that scientists research.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a wildlife biologist's job description?

    A:

    Wildlife biologists study the biology, habits and living environments of wild animals, and they use this knowledge to conserve and manage animal populations. A wildlife biologist typically has a degree in wildlife, fisheries management or a number of related subjects, and they can hold conservations and research positions with the federal government or in private facilities, such as zoos and consulting firms.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore