al·​li·​in·​ase | \ ˈa-lē-ə-ˌnās How to pronounce alliinase (audio) \
plural alliinases

Definition of alliinase

: an enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of alliin to allicin in plants of the genus Allium (such as garlic and onion) But as soon as you crush or cut a clove of garlic, an enzyme called alliinase is released, converting alliin into allicin.— Judy Foreman, Boston Globe, 19 Feb. 1996

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of alliinase

1947, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for alliinase

borrowed from German Alliinase, from Alliin alliin + -ase -ase

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about alliinase

Time Traveler for alliinase

Time Traveler

The first known use of alliinase was in 1947

See more words from the same year

Statistics for alliinase

Cite this Entry

“Alliinase.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Aug. 2020.

Comments on alliinase

What made you want to look up alliinase? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

July 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • papercraft sunset
  • Which is a synonym of mien?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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