enzyme

noun

en·​zyme ˈen-ˌzīm How to pronounce enzyme (audio)
: any of numerous complex proteins that are produced by living cells and catalyze specific biochemical reactions at body temperatures

Examples of enzyme in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The 2% salicylic acid concentration is combined with a formulation of papaya enzymes to clear, smooth, and brighten the skin, as well as glycerin and oat kernel extract to hydrate and support the skin barrier. Alena Hall, Verywell Health, 5 Feb. 2024 In this recent work, her lab generated an enzyme that can biodegrade volatile methyl siloxanes. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, 5 Feb. 2024 These will be sent to Orchard Therapeutics’ manufacturing facilities in Italy, where they will be engineered to express a functional copy of the gene that makes an essential enzyme for clearing toxins out of the central nervous system. Megan Molteni, STAT, 5 Feb. 2024 Microbes have evolved a handful of scissor enzymes that make this cut, with names like Cas9 and Cas12. Amber Dance, Discover Magazine, 2 Feb. 2024 In this thoroughly elegant and subdued film, Mr. Tu’s mention of an enzyme that penetrates a cell — an evident illustration of how Shuo gained access to their home — may seem like the most inelegant note, until late in the story the one using pity to gain sympathy is someone else. Carlos Aguilar, Variety, 22 Jan. 2024 Another enzyme is added to chop any remaining DNA into tiny harmless fragments. Tanya Lewis, Scientific American, 4 Jan. 2024 But when quercetin enters the bloodstream, it gets converted into quercetin glucuronide — a compound that blocks the enzyme that turns acetaldehyde into acetate. María Luisa Paúl, Washington Post, 23 Nov. 2023 The claims rest on the ingredient glyphosate, introduced as a herbicide by Monsanto in 1974, which inhibits a certain enzyme in most plants, preventing them from growing. Frances Vinall, Washington Post, 27 Jan. 2024 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

German Enzym, from Middle Greek enzymos leavened, from Greek en- + zymē leaven — more at juice

First Known Use

1881, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of enzyme was in 1881

Cite this Entry

“Enzyme.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enzyme. Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

enzyme

noun
en·​zyme ˈen-ˌzīm How to pronounce enzyme (audio)
: any of various complex proteins produced by living cells that bring about or speed up reactions (as in the digestion of food) without being permanently altered
enzymatic
ˌen-zə-ˈmat-ik
adjective
enzymatically
-ˈmat-i-k(ə-)lē
adverb

Medical Definition

enzyme

noun
en·​zyme ˈen-ˌzīm How to pronounce enzyme (audio)
: any of numerous complex proteins that are produced by living cells and catalyze specific biochemical reactions at body temperatures

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