ad·​he·​sin ad-ˈhē-zᵊn How to pronounce adhesin (audio)
plural adhesins
: any of various specialized molecular components (such as proteins) on the surface of a bacterial cell that bring about adhesion by attaching to the surface of other cells or structures
At the tip of each pilus is an adhesin, a protein designed to stick to a surface molecule of the bacterium's target cells.John Travis, Science News, 26 Apr. 1997
Cranberries have been shown to help prevent recurrent urinary tract infections but not by changing acidity. They contain chemicals that block adhesins and prevent bacteria from sticking to urinary tract cells.Gabe Mirkin, Washington Times, 28 Oct. 2001

Word History


adhes- (in adhesion or adhesive entry 1) + -in entry 1

First Known Use

1959, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of adhesin was in 1959

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Dictionary Entries Near adhesin

Cite this Entry

“Adhesin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

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