cell

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Related to cells: Tissues, Plant Cells

little grey cells

Knowledge or the power to think critically. (A reference to brain cells.) This medication has very serious side effects, and I would rather hang on to all of my little grey cells than extend what remains of my life by a couple of years. The detective credited his "little grey cells" as the reason he was able to solve such a complex and mysterious case.
See also: cell, grey, little

not have two brain cells to rub together

To be particularly stupid; to lack any intelligence or common sense. Oh please, that fool doesn't have two brain cells to rub together—there's no way he could pull off such an elaborate plan!
See also: brain, cell, have, not, rub, together, two

not have two (something) to rub together

To be totally bereft of or lacking in something. Oh please, that fool doesn't have two brain cells to rub together—there's no way he could pull off such an elaborate plan! There were a few months during college when I didn't have two pennies to rub together, surviving off the handouts of my friends and housemates.
See also: have, not, rub, together, two

little grey cells

brain cells (as symbolic of high intelligence or mental acuity).
The phrase is particularly associated with the cerebral Belgian detective Hercule Poirot , invented by Agatha Christie .
2006 Scotland on Sunday They…show an amazing capacity to solve every cryptic clue, code and secret that comes their way, often merely by the use of their little grey cells and a leap of the imagination.
See also: cell, grey, little

not have two brain cells, pennies, etc. to rub toˈgether

(British English, informal) be very stupid, have no money, etc: How can they afford a new car? They haven’t got two pennies to rub together.
See also: brain, have, not, rub, together, two
References in classic literature ?
Even in the rude circumferential rim or wall of wax round a growing comb, flexures may sometimes be observed, corresponding in position to the planes of the rhombic basal plates of future cells.
It seems at first to add to the difficulty of understanding how the cells are made, that a multitude of bees all work together; one bee after working a short time at one cell going to another, so that, as Huber has stated, a score of individuals work even at the commencement of the first cell.
Over the head and face of every prisoner who comes into this melancholy house, a black hood is drawn; and in this dark shroud, an emblem of the curtain dropped between him and the living world, he is led to the cell from which he never again comes forth, until his whole term of imprisonment has expired.
Beyond these pages the prison has no record of his existence: and though he live to be in the same cell ten weary years, he has no means of knowing, down to the very last hour, in which part of the building it is situated; what kind of men there are about him; whether in the long winter nights there are living people near, or he is in some lonely corner of the great jail, with walls, and passages, and iron doors between him and the nearest sharer in its solitary horrors.
In the general surprise and wonder, they were used to this; without saying anything more, they enlarged the breach until it was large enough to admit the body of a man, and then came dropping down upon the floor, one after another, until the cell was full.
Calling to the man within each cell, to keep as far back as he could, lest the axes crashing through the door should wound him, a party went to work upon each one, to beat it in by sheer strength, and force the bolts and staples from their hold.
As the Inquisition rarely allowed its victims to be seen with their limbs distorted and their flesh lacerated by torture, so madness is always concealed in its cell, from whence, should it depart, it is conveyed to some gloomy hospital, where the doctor has no thought for man or mind in the mutilated being the jailer delivers to him.
To confine ourselves to the cell in the Tour-Roland, we must say that it had never lacked recluses.
In accordance with the fashion of the epoch, a Latin inscription on the wall indicated to the learned passer-by the pious purpose of this cell.
We heard the guard moving about from cell to cell, and finally, his rounds completed, he again entered ours.
There we found several other guards, and with them the red Martian youth who occupied another cell upon Shador.
And seeing that the prisoner was not only quiet, but entirely prostrate and senseless, he rushed from the cell, violently slamming the door, and noisily drawing the bolts.
Recovering his consciousness, Cornelius found himself alone, and recognised the room where he was, -- "the family cell," as Gryphus had called it, -- as the fatal passage leading to ignominious death.
The cell was a dual cave, dug into the hillside, and in it Hilary had been buried.
She went through the little porch into the cell where he lived.