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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web 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 Mammals have three types of sweat glands: apocrine, sebaceous and eccrine. Asher Y. Rosinger, Scientific American, 1 July 2021 Most of our potent body odour arises from a kind of sweat that emerges from apocrine glands in our armpits. Sarah Everts, Time, 21 July 2021 See More

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

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 5 Dec. 2022.

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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