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 nickels to rub together, and I had to survive 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 ?
Tegetmeier, I separated two combs, and put between them a long, thick, square strip of wax: the bees instantly began to excavate minute circular pits in it; and as they deepened these little pits, they made them wider and wider until they were converted into shallow basins, appearing to the eye perfectly true or parts of a sphere, and of about the diameter of a cell. It was most interesting to me to observe that wherever several bees had begun to excavate these basins near together, they had begun their work at such a distance from each other, that by the time the basins had acquired the above stated width (i.e.
In ordinary combs it has appeared to me that the bees do not always succeed in working at exactly the same rate from the opposite sides; for I have noticed half-completed rhombs at the base of a just-commenced cell, which were slightly concave on one side, where I suppose that the bees had excavated too quickly, and convex on the opposed side, where the bees had worked less quickly.
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.
How in that ruin she blocked out a Royal Cell of sound wax, but disguised by rubbish till it looked like a kopje among deserted kopjes.
As the attack went on, he grew more wild and frantic in his terror: tried to pull away the bars that guarded the chimney and prevented him from climbing up: called loudly on the turnkeys to cluster round the cell and save him from the fury of the rabble; or put him in some dungeon underground, no matter of what depth, how dark it was, or loathsome, or beset with rats and creeping things, so that it hid him and was hard to find.
He left the window when he saw them coming, and drew back into the remotest corner of the cell; but although he returned them no answer, they had a fancy that some one was inside, for they presently set ladders against it, and began to tear away the bars at the casement; not only that, indeed, but with pickaxes to hew down the very stones in the wall.
He did not move at the sound of the door, and continued his calculations until the flash of the torches lighted up with an unwonted glare the sombre walls of his cell; then, raising his head, he perceived with astonishment the number of persons present.
He remained in his cell, and this visit only increased the belief in his insanity.
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. The custom was retained until the middle of the sixteenth century of explaining an edifice by a brief device inscribed above the door.
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.
There the Abbot, an excellent manager of merchant origin, received Sergius simply and quietly and placed him in Hilary's cell, at first assigning to him a lay brother but afterwards leaving him alone, at Sergius's own request.