en·​zyme | \ ˈen-ˌzīm How to pronounce enzyme (audio) \

Definition of enzyme

: 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 enzymes that transform the glucovanillin in the plant into vanillin – the molecule that gives vanilla its distinctive aroma – emerge only through curing. The Economist, "The murky world of Madagascar’s roaring vanilla trade," 5 July 2019 An enzyme that hooks proteins together to make curds. • Salt. Marc Bona, cleveland.com, "The science of cheese: Cleveland doctor making ‘amazing’ artisanal cheeses," 26 June 2019 Along with menthyl to aid in cooling down, this light gel also includes pomegranate enzyme to exfoliate, which in turn keeps dead skin at bay and can help prevent breakouts. Lisa Desantis, Health.com, "We Tried Lululemon's Brand New Skincare and Beauty Line—Here's What We Thought," 18 June 2019 While Elanco is developing antibiotic alternatives for animals, like vaccines and enzymes, the antibiotics promoted by the Pig Zero campaign are exactly the kinds that global public health officials are trying to curb. Danny Hakim, New York Times, "Warning of ‘Pig Zero’: One Drugmaker’s Push to Sell More Antibiotics," 7 June 2019 On a molecular level, one time of day is not like another: not for liver enzymes (which regularly rise and fall in concentration), not for dividing skin cells (which vary their pace of replication) nor for any number of other biological subsystems. Quanta Magazine, "The Body’s Clock Offers a Rhythmic Target to Viruses," 30 May 2019 Amygdalin reacts with enzymes in the intestines, and consuming enough of it can be deadly. Jennifer Leman, Scientific American, "The Bitter Truth: Scientists Sequence the Almond Genome," 13 June 2019 When an organism dies, its DNA becomes vulnerable to a variety of threats, like DNA-digesting enzymes that spill out of the dead cells and microbes that feast on the decaying tissues. Quanta Magazine, "Ancient DNA Yields Snapshots of Vanished Ecosystems," 29 May 2019 Potatoes also take a long time to break down due to a type of starch that resists digestive enzymes. Danielle Braff, Woman's Day, "8 Ways to Stay Full Longer," 9 Nov. 2010

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'enzyme.' 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 enzyme

1881, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for enzyme

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

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Statistics for enzyme

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for enzyme

The first known use of enzyme was in 1881

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English Language Learners Definition of enzyme

technical : a chemical substance in animals and plants that helps to cause natural processes (such as digestion)


en·​zyme | \ ˈen-ˌzīm How to pronounce enzyme (audio) \

Kids Definition of enzyme

: a substance produced by body cells that helps bring about or speed up bodily chemical activities (as the digestion of food) without being destroyed in so doing


en·​zyme | \ ˈen-ˌzīm How to pronounce enzyme (audio) \

Medical Definition of enzyme

: any of numerous complex proteins that are produced by living cells and catalyze specific biochemical reactions at body temperatures

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More from Merriam-Webster on enzyme

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with enzyme

Spanish Central: Translation of enzyme

Nglish: Translation of enzyme for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of enzyme for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about enzyme

Comments on enzyme

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food or victuals

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