enzyme

noun
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 drug is a protease inhibitor, which works by inhibiting an enzyme that the virus needs to replicate in human cells. Ed Silverman, STAT, "Pharmalittle: Pfizer Covid-19 pill could be ready by year-end; Warren urges SEC to probe Emergent CEO over stock sales," 28 Apr. 2021 Luciferase is an enzyme that produces light and is found in organisms like fireflies and luminescent marine microorganisms. Adrienne Dunn, USA TODAY, "Fact check: No luciferase enzymes – or satanic connections – in coronavirus vaccines," 23 Apr. 2021 The treatment process essentially involves removing blood stem cells from a patient, using an enzyme to edit the DNA of those cells in a lab, and then reinserting the cells with edited genes back in the patient through a bone marrow transplant. BostonGlobe.com, "Vertex doubles down on gene editing in $900 million investment with CRISPR Therapeutics," 20 Apr. 2021 The drug is part of a class of medicines called protease inhibitors and works by inhibiting an enzyme that the virus needs to replicate in human cells. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, "Pfizer’s New Oral Protease Inhibitor Could Possibly Treat And Prevent Covid-19," 5 Apr. 2021 Amylase, an enzyme that breaks down starch, is released in your saliva to begin the process, Murphy says. Julie Stewart, SELF, "What Are Carbohydrates Really, and Why Are They Important?," 25 Mar. 2021 First, a sensitive enzyme immunoassay (EIA) or immunofluorescence assay (IFA), both of which look for the presence of antibodies, or proteins the immune system produces in response to an antigen (a foreign substance in the body, such as a virus). Kate Fridkis, SELF, "If It Isn’t Chronic Lyme, What Is It?," 14 Apr. 2021 Clinical Youth Serum Copper tripeptide growth factor, vitamins A, C and E and a proprietary enzyme blend work to tighten skin and protect against environmental aggressors. Fiorella Valdesolo, WSJ, "A Simpler Skin-Care Plan for Stressed-Out Skin," 14 Apr. 2021 There are also enzyme exfoliants, which come from fruits such as papaya, pineapple and pumpkin. Washington Post, "Exfoliating isn’t necessary. But if you do it, follow the tips from these dermatologists.," 12 Apr. 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about enzyme

Statistics for enzyme

Last Updated

4 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Enzyme.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enzyme. Accessed 6 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for enzyme

enzyme

noun

English Language Learners Definition of enzyme

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

enzyme

noun
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

enzyme

noun
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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on 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

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

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!