chitin

noun
chi·​tin | \ ˈkī-tᵊn How to pronounce chitin (audio) \

Definition of chitin

: a horny polysaccharide (C8H13NO5)n that forms part of the hard outer integument especially of insects, arachnids, and crustaceans

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from chitin

chitinous \ ˈkī-​tᵊn-​əs How to pronounce chitinous (audio) , ˈkīt-​nəs \ adjective

Examples of chitin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The authors said that the extraction of chitin would be a byproduct of the crew's food supply and consumption. Katie Hunt, CNN, "This is how we should build on Mars, scientists say," 16 Sep. 2020 The scales of chitin (a polysaccharide common to insects) are arranged like roof tiles. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Girl With a Pearl Earring," 11 Sep. 2020 The chitin for use on Mars, the study said, could come from insects. Katie Hunt, CNN, "This is how we should build on Mars, scientists say," 16 Sep. 2020 The scales of chitin (a polysaccharide common to insects) are arranged like roof tiles. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Girl With a Pearl Earring," 11 Sep. 2020 This boosts the flour’s nutrient count by rendering the chitin—the main compound in insects’ exoskeletons—soluble, and allowing more protein bits to bond with other ingredients. Popular Science, "You should start eating bugs. Here’s how.," 22 Apr. 2020 Don’t bother fighting with the tails — that bit of crunchy chitin is a bonus. Dominic Armato, azcentral, "Harold's Chicken Shack is a Chicago icon. Here's what to try at the first Arizona location," 20 Nov. 2019 Like all insects, this edible water beetle contains significant amounts of fiber due to the chitin from their outer skeleton. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "The food that can feed, and maybe save, the planet: Bugs," 25 Oct. 2019 The researchers found their answer in a mix of cellulose fibers and chitin, a material commonly found in many animal shells. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Future 'Plastic' Could Be Made From Trees and Crab Shells," 1 Aug. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of chitin

circa 1839, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for chitin

French chitine, from Greek chitōn

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about chitin

Time Traveler for chitin

Time Traveler

The first known use of chitin was circa 1839

See more words from the same year

Statistics for chitin

Last Updated

11 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Chitin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/chitin. Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for chitin

chitin

noun
chi·​tin | \ ˈkīt-ᵊn How to pronounce chitin (audio) \

Medical Definition of chitin

: a horny polysaccharide that forms part of the hard outer integument especially of insects, arachnids, and crustaceans

Other Words from chitin

chitinous \ ˈkīt-​ᵊn-​əs, ˈkīt-​nəs How to pronounce chitinous (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on chitin

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about chitin

Comments on chitin

What made you want to look up chitin? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Here Be Dragons: A Creature Identification Quiz

  • monster werewolf photo
  • Which is a synonym of werewolf?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!