: producing a fluid secretion by pinching off one end of the secretory cell while leaving the rest intact
also : produced by an apocrine gland

Examples of apocrine in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In fact, there are actually two different kinds of sweat glands in the body – eccrine sweat glands and apocrine sweat glands. Alexis Benveniste, Allure, 26 Sep. 2023 The ones all over its body where its fur grows are called apocrine sweat glands, and we humans also have them in our armpits and other hairy zones. Bill Gifford, Men's Health, 12 June 2023 Remember those apocrine glands that release oily secretions? Bridget Alex, Discover Magazine, 13 Aug. 2019 But the glands found in the armpits and genital area are different: apocrine glands excrete a thicker fluid that — upon contact with bacteria found on the skin — results in body odor. Dianna Mazzone, Allure, 17 June 2022 In addition to sweat, apocrine glands release substances like fat and proteins that can lead to body odor when sweat mixes with the normal bacteria found on the skin. Jessica Toscano, SELF, 7 June 2022 Your apocrine glands are located where bad body odor is common, such as the armpits or groin. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 25 May 2022 While surgery can be an option at any stage on an individual lesion if the pain is major enough, wide surgical removal of an affected area and apocrine glands is most common in Hurley stage III. Sara Gaynes Levy, SELF, 17 Feb. 2022 So Cruz, given his background as a Harvard Law graduate and fearsome Texas solicitor general, could have defended his position without activating his apocrine glands. Washington Post, 7 Jan. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'apocrine.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from German apokrin, from apo- apo- + -krin, as in merokrin merocrine

Note: The term was introduced, along with ekkrin eccrine by the German biologist P. Schiefferdecker in "Die Hautdrüsen des Menschen und der Säugetiere, ihre biologische und rassenanatomische Bedeutung sowie die Muscularis sexualis," Biologisches Zentralblatt, Band 37 (1917), p. 534.

First Known Use

1926, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of apocrine was in 1926

Dictionary Entries Near apocrine

Cite this Entry

“Apocrine.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/apocrine. Accessed 24 May. 2024.

Medical Definition


: producing a fluid secretion by pinching off one end of the secreting cells which then reform and repeat the process
apocrine glands
also : produced by an apocrine gland compare eccrine, holocrine, merocrine
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