bilirubin

noun
bil·i·ru·bin | \ˌbi-li-ˈrü-bən, ˈbi-li-ˌrü-\

Definition of bilirubin 

: a reddish-yellow water-insoluble pigment C33H36N4O6 that is formed by the breakdown of heme, is excreted in a water-soluble form by liver cells into bile, and occurs in blood and urine especially in diseased states — see jaundice

Examples of bilirubin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The new algorithm also analyzed advanced biomarkers such as the levels of creatinine and bilirubin in the blood, which can offer clues about underlying infection. Ian Haydon, Philly.com, "Working to save lives, Philly physicians find way to help patients confront death," 26 June 2018 Biliverdin can kill cells, destroy neurons and kill cells, which is why human livers attempt to filter out bilirubin as quickly as possible. Laura Yan, Popular Mechanics, "Green-Blooded Lizards Live With a Pigment That Should Kill Them," 20 May 2018 Gruber says eels fluoresce when one molecule, called bilirubin, interacts with another molecule. National Geographic, "See Amazing Ocean Creatures That ‘Glow’," 11 June 2018 But the patient’s bilirubin was one and a half times the normal level. Lisa Sanders, M.d., New York Times, "Why Wouldn’t the Lump Under the Patient’s Jaw Go Away?," 18 Apr. 2018 Humans with elevated bilirubin, Greenfieldboyce reports, have some added protection against malaria parasites. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "These Lizards Evolved Toxic Green Blood," 17 May 2018 The liver then gathers them and takes out the iron, creating the green waste product biliverdin, which is later transformed further into yellow bilirubin. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "These Lizards Evolved Toxic Green Blood," 17 May 2018 Still, bilirubin goes up when red blood cells are destroyed at a higher-than-normal rate. Lisa Sanders, M.d., New York Times, "Why Wouldn’t the Lump Under the Patient’s Jaw Go Away?," 18 Apr. 2018 Lab tests showed that her bilirubin, a compound in the blood that is predictive of liver function, fell just outside the normal range, raising the red flag that barred her enrollment. Aimee Swartz, chicagotribune.com, "Cancer clinical trials exclude many desperate patients - should that change?," 18 Dec. 2017

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

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First Known Use of bilirubin

1871, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bilirubin

Latin bilis + ruber red — more at red

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Dictionary Entries near bilirubin

bilinguality

bilinite

bilious

bilirubin

biliteral

biliterate

bilith

Statistics for bilirubin

Last Updated

21 Aug 2018

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Time Traveler for bilirubin

The first known use of bilirubin was in 1871

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More Definitions for bilirubin

bilirubin

noun
bil·i·ru·bin | \ˌbil-i-ˈrü-bən, ˈbil-i-ˌ \

Medical Definition of bilirubin 

: a reddish-yellow, crystalline, water-insoluble pigment C33H36N4O6 that is formed by the breakdown of heme, is excreted in a water-soluble conjugated form by liver cells into bile, and occurs in blood and urine especially in diseased states (such as cirrhosis, gallstones, and hemolytic anemia) … they may become jaundiced, their skin tinged yellow by the release of the pigment bilirubin from their damaged liver.— Larry Thompson, Discover, March 1994

More from Merriam-Webster on bilirubin

Britannica English: Translation of bilirubin for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about bilirubin

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