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Term: mitochondria plural of "mitochondrion"

Origin: Ancient Greek
mitos (=thread)  + khondrion (=little cartilage: fibrous and flexible connective tissue ) (see below)

Coined: by microbiologist Carl Benda 1898. Benda was able to make out from cells hundreds  of microscopic bodies previously seen by Richard Altmann as rodlike structures. Benda thought that  mitochondria seemed to hold the shape of the cell  like threads of cartilage (chondrion) and he named them according the Greek words. By 1920 scientists determined that mitochondria had a major role in energy production.

Definition: organelle of eucaryotic cells which supply cell with chemical energy (ATP). In addition  mitochondria are involved in apoptosis, cell death, cell growth and cellular diferentiation. Mitochondria contain their own DNA and ribosomes, replicate independently, and code for the synthesis of some of their own proteins 

Runon derivatives: mitosis, mitogen, mtichondrium


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