al·​bi·​nism | \ ˈal-bə-ˌni-zəm How to pronounce albinism (audio) , al-ˈbī- How to pronounce albinism (audio) \

Definition of albinism

: the condition of an albino

Other Words from albinism

albinistic \ ˌal-​bə-​ˈni-​stik How to pronounce albinism (audio) \ adjective

Did you know?

An aberration occurring in humans and other vertebrates, albinism is an absence of pigment in the eyes, skin, hair, scales, or feathers caused by a genetic defect. Albino animals rarely survive in the wild because they lack the pigments that normally provide the protective coloration and a screen against the sun’s rays. Humans have long bred certain albino animals, such as rabbits, for their appearance. In humans with total albinism, the affected person has milk-white skin and hair; the iris of the eye appears pink and the pupil is red. Problems with vision are common in albinism. Total albinism occurs in all races in about one in 20,000 persons.

Examples of albinism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web One tortoise has darker coloring, like its parents, and one has albinism — a rarity for the species. Vanessa Etienne,, 7 June 2022 For every 20,000 humans, there is approximately one case of albinism, compared to approximately one per 100,000 turtles. Camille Fine, USA TODAY, 5 June 2022 In this series of three stories about strong Black women living with albinism in Shreveport, La., the author writes instead about the power of transformation. Washington Post, 1 Feb. 2022 According to World Deer, albinism occurs once in every 20,000 deer. Erik S. Hanley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 31 Jan. 2022 In some parts of the world, Black people with albinism are endangered by the myth that their body parts can transfer magical powers to others. Washington Post, 1 Feb. 2022 The giraffe’s white appearance is not caused by albinism, which involves a lack of melanin pigment. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 Nov. 2020 Herpetologist Terry Vandeventer of Terry, Mississippi, explained the snake has one of two possible genetic conditions; T positive albinism or hypomelanism. Brian Broom, USA TODAY, 1 Oct. 2021 Susana was born with a severe visual impairment due to albinism, while Patricia could see perfectly. Amy Gunia, Time, 4 Aug. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'albinism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of albinism

1836, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for albinism

borrowed from French albinisme, from albinos (noun and adjective) "albino" (borrowed from Spanish) + -isme -ism — more at albino entry 1

Learn More About albinism

Time Traveler for albinism

Time Traveler

The first known use of albinism was in 1836

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near albinism




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for albinism

Last Updated

20 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Albinism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jul. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for albinism


al·​bi·​nism | \ ˈal-bə-ˌniz-əm How to pronounce albinism (audio) , al-ˈbī- How to pronounce albinism (audio) \

Medical Definition of albinism

: the condition of an albino

Other Words from albinism

albinistic \ ˌal-​bə-​ˈnis-​tik How to pronounce albinism (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on albinism Encyclopedia article about albinism


Test Your Vocabulary

Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!