In the context of a math paper, I want to talk about the individual hexagonal parts of a honeycomb. "cells" can be ambiguous and "hexagonal prisms" is technically incorrect (the back of the cavity is angled outward). "Repeating component part" is wordy and vague. Is there a common phrase or word typically used for this?

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    Why would "cell" be ambiguous within the context of that paper? That's what the units are almost always called. Jan 13, 2013 at 3:13
  • Because "cell" is also used for the component parts of a tissue, and I really want to avoid confusion or even momentary hesitation. Jan 13, 2013 at 3:16
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    Are you also discussing tissue in this paper? If not, why not "honeycomb cell" at first use and "cell" thereafter? Jan 13, 2013 at 3:17
  • I am not also discussing tissue in this paper, but I am referring to the cells in a very brief introduction that I probably won't repeat the phrase in. Thank you for your attention. Jan 13, 2013 at 3:28
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    @WindowsEscapist: "Tissue" has more than one meaning, too, but that didn't confuse anyone when you used it in your remark. Avoiding words with multiple meanings seems like an unnecessary self-imposed restriction, especially if you'll end up using more unusual words instead of standard terminology.
    – J.R.
    Jan 13, 2013 at 4:03

1 Answer 1


If you are willing to overlook 'technicality' a bit, hexagonal wax cells would fit in perfectly.

  • This strikes the balance between specificity and conciseness. Thank you. Jan 13, 2013 at 3:27

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