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What would be the adjective of plasma? I've heard both "plasmatic" and "plasmic", but which one refers to plasma in the medical sense, and which refers to the state of matter?

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  • M-W Medical Dictionary states that both adjectives are used in the (single) medical sense. // YourDictionary tacitly restricts the use of 'plasmatic' to this sense: << plasmatic i Adjective (not comparable) Of or pertaining to (blood) plasma>> Jul 31, 2016 at 16:53
  • On the other hand, there are 130 000+ Google hits for "plasmatic" + "ions". Jul 31, 2016 at 17:00
  • @EdwinAshworth Where did you find that? Google Trends isn't showing me anything. Jul 31, 2016 at 17:11
  • To my experience, I would say that "plasmic" can be used in both - actually, three cases : you forgot cell biology, where plasmic is used for the liquid inside the cell - cases, whereas "plasmatic" is only used in the medical sense.
    – Frédéric
    Jul 31, 2016 at 17:49
  • So my plasma TV should really be called a plasmatic TV?
    – GEdgar
    Jul 31, 2016 at 20:19

2 Answers 2

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Both cover both. http://www.dictionary.com/browse/plasmatic

Personally, however, I find plasmic more common. I live in America.

Google NGram shows that plasmatic is slightly more common.

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    Hello, Hanry. You've not exactly been welcomed, getting a downvote so promptly. It's possibly because (1) dictionaries tend to give registers / domains in which headwords are used, but don't specify for 'related forms'. And/or (2) you don't quote the relevant entries, merely citing the reference. (I'd admittedly downvote this answer if you had say 8k+ reputation, as I don't believe the reference specifies domain for the adjectives.) Jul 31, 2016 at 16:48
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It's quite hard to find a clear answer to your question on Internet. Nevertheless :

I'd use "plasmatic" in a biological context, when talking about the clear yellowish fluid portion of blood or lymph in which the red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets are suspended as in these publications.

For the gel-like substance enclosed within the cell membrane and the organelles, there is use plasmic alone, or "something+plasmic" (e.g. "Sarcoplasmic reticulum" for the reticulum of muscle cells) as in those publications

Finally, for the fourth state of matter, you'd use "plasmic", but can't find any strong reference, my guess is that the adjectival form isn't common.

As a side note, I find astonishing how neither "plasmatic" nor "plasmic" are used in huge texts describing the plasma (state of matter).

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  • One source in the first reference you give (The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary) seems to state that 'plasmic' and 'plasmatic' are interchangeable in both blood- and cell-related usages. Jul 31, 2016 at 20:53
  • @EdwinAshworth : True enough, but I've read somewhere (can't find the ref) that using plasmatic in the cell-related context is a bit outdated
    – Frédéric
    Aug 1, 2016 at 8:16

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