cer·​amide ˈsir-ə-ˌmīd How to pronounce ceramide (audio)
plural ceramides
: any of various simple sphingolipids that are composed of a fatty acid linked to sphingosine, are found especially in cell membranes, are involved in mediating various cellular processes (such as those affecting cell differentiation and apoptosis), and act as precursors for more complex sphingolipids
The enzyme controls production of a cellular substance, ceramide, which triggers the natural process of egg cell death.L. Stivitz
Moisturizers containing ceramides (natural lipids that are similar in structure to those in the skin's own moisture barrier) … are also worthwhile splurges for women with dry or problem skin, according to independent tester Grove.Constance Cardozo

Examples of ceramide in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Your derm can offer product recs that are safe to use on your face, but generally speaking, something with hydrating humectants (like hyaluronic acid and glycerin) and skin-soothing and protecting ingredients (like ceramides, petrolatum, allantoin, and colloidal oatmeal) are good options. Alice Oglethorpe, SELF, 10 May 2024 The cream has an anti-aging peptide complex as well as hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, ceramides, and caffeine to rid crow’s feet and fine lines. Enjanae' Taylor, Southern Living, 2 May 2024 Studies show darker skin is more prone to dehydration, with less ceramides and a higher level of transepidermal water loss. India Espy-Jones, Essence, 25 Apr. 2024 Gentle chemical exfoliants reveal smoother skin, while ceramides strengthen the skin barrier and lock in moisture. Kiana Murden, Vogue, 24 Apr. 2024 These include lipids, ceramides, cholesterol, and hyaluronic acid. Karyn Repinski, Health, 19 Apr. 2024 The formula utilizes a microdose of retinol along with ceramides (a potent moisturizing agent), peptides, and glycerin to keep those ugly retinol side effects to a minimum and leave skin feeling hydrated, supple, and firm. Danielle Cohen, Glamour, 3 Apr. 2024 First of all, this lotion is packed with ceramides, a gold standard ingredient for strengthening the skin barrier, as well as hyaluronic acid (which, again, draws water in). Jenna Ryu, SELF, 21 Feb. 2024 With hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, three essential ceramides, and peptides, the product locks in moisture, restores the skin barrier, and reduces wrinkles and fine lines. Toni Sutton, Peoplemag, 8 Dec. 2023

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

Word History


cerebroside + amide

First Known Use

1958, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ceramide was in 1958

Dictionary Entries Near ceramide

Cite this Entry

“Ceramide.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ceramide. Accessed 23 May. 2024.

Medical Definition


cer·​amide ˈsir-ə-ˌmīd How to pronounce ceramide (audio)
: any of a group of amido sphingolipids formed by linking a fatty acid to sphingosine and found widely in small amounts in plant and animal tissue

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