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

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Other Words from chitin

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

Examples of chitin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Some of the animal ingredients used during the fining process are casein, chitin, egg whites, gelatin, and isinglass (from the swim bladders of fish). Mike Desimone And Jeff Jenssen, Forbes, "Vegan Wine Expert Created A Wine Club For Like Minded Drinkers," 11 Mar. 2021 Like all insects, ants have exoskeletons made of chitin, which is tough and flexible. National Geographic, "Leaf-cutter ants have rocky crystal armor, never before seen in insects," 25 Nov. 2020 The key ingredient is chitin -- a fibrous substance that is a component of cell walls in fungi, the exoskeletons of crustaceans and insects, and the scales of fish and amphibians. Katie Hunt, CNN, "This is how we should build on Mars, scientists say," 16 Sep. 2020 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

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.

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First Known Use of chitin

circa 1839, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for chitin

French chitine, from Greek chitōn

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Time Traveler for chitin

Time Traveler

The first known use of chitin was circa 1839

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Statistics for chitin

Last Updated

22 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Chitin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/chitin. Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

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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 chitin (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on chitin

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about chitin

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