Definitions for micellemɪˈsɛl

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word micelle

Random House Webster's College Dictionary


  1. an electrically charged colloidal particle formed by an aggregate of molecules.

    Category: Chemistry, Biochemistry

  2. an organized structural unit composed of such particles.

    Category: Biochemistry, Chemistry

Origin of micelle:

1880–85; < G Micell (1877) < L mīc(a) crumb, grain +-ella -elle


Princeton's WordNet

  1. micelle(noun)

    an electrically charged particle built up from polymeric molecules or ions and occurring in certain colloidal electrolytic solutions like soaps and detergents


  1. micelle(Noun)

    a colloidal aggregate, in a simple geometric form, of a specific number of amphipathic molecules which forms at a well-defined concentration, called the critical micelle concentration

  2. Origin: micella, from mica + -ella


  1. Micelle

    A micelle is an aggregate of surfactant molecules dispersed in a liquid colloid. A typical micelle in aqueous solution forms an aggregate with the hydrophilic "head" regions in contact with surrounding solvent, sequestering the hydrophobic single-tail regions in the micelle centre. This phase is caused by the packing behavior of single-tailed lipids in a bilayer. The difficulty filling all the volume of the interior of a bilayer, while accommodating the area per head group forced on the molecule by the hydration of the lipid head group, leads to the formation of the micelle. This type of micelle is known as a normal phase micelle. Inverse micelles have the head groups at the centre with the tails extending out. Micelles are approximately spherical in shape. Other phases, including shapes such as ellipsoids, cylinders, and bilayers, are also possible. The shape and size of a micelle is a function of the molecular geometry of its surfactant molecules and solution conditions such as surfactant concentration, temperature, pH, and ionic strength. The process of forming micelles is known as micellisation and forms part of the Phase behaviour of many lipids according to their polymorphism.


Find a translation for the micelle definition in other languages:

Select another language:

Discuss these micelle definitions with the community:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"micelle." STANDS4 LLC, 2014. Web. 18 Dec. 2014. <>.

Are we missing a good definition for micelle?

The Web's Largest Resource for

Definitions & Translations

A Member Of The STANDS4 Network

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for micelle: