apocrine gland


: a gland and especially a sweat gland that secretes a viscous fluid into a hair follicle (as in the armpit or groin), is lined with a single layer of usually columnar cells, and typically does not become active until puberty

Note: It is now understood that apocrine glands produce a secretion which lacks cellular material and causes little damage to the secreting cell. While this secretion pattern is more closely related to the merocrine than the apocrine type, these glands continue to be referred to as apocrine glands because of their uniquely characteristic large secretory lumen and milky secretion.

compare eccrine gland

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Our closer relatives, chimpanzees and gorillas, bear roughly two eccrine for every one apocrine gland. Bridget Alex, Discover Magazine, 17 Jan. 2019 That type of sweat comes from the apocrine glands, which are located mainly in the underarm and groin. Robert J. Davis, CNN, 28 Feb. 2018 Humans also have apocrine glands, primarily in the armpit and groin. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, 7 Dec. 2016

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

Word History

First Known Use

1930, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of apocrine gland was in 1930

Dictionary Entries Near apocrine gland

Cite this Entry

“Apocrine gland.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/apocrine%20gland. Accessed 26 Mar. 2023.

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