eumelanin

noun

eu·​mel·​a·​nin (ˈ)yü-ˈme-lə-nən How to pronounce eumelanin (audio)
plural eumelanins
: a brown to black pigment that is the most common form of melanin and whose functions include protecting the epidermis against damage from ultraviolet radiation
Although we can temporarily raise the amount of eumelanin in our skin by tanning, the baseline amount is controlled by our genes.Neil Singh
If eumelanin was the hadrosaur's only pigment, it would have had grey skin like that of a rhinoceros or an elephant.Michael Marshall
Research shows that black hair contains about 99 percent eumelanin, brown and blond hair 95 percent eumelanin, and red hair 67 percent eumelanin.Kathy Wollard
compare neuromelanin, pheomelanin

Examples of eumelanin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This is caused by a natural increase in eumelanin, which determines brown or black pigment, due to hormones. Shelby Wax, Allure, 29 Feb. 2024 There are three basic types of the pigment: eumelanin, pheomelanin and neuromelanin. Daryl Austin, USA TODAY, 1 Sep. 2023 Their skin adapted to subtle, seasonal changes in sunlight and UV conditions by producing more eumelanin and becoming darker in the summer and then losing some pigment in the fall and winter when the sun wasn’t so strong. Nina G. Jablonski, The Conversation, 6 Sep. 2022 And these cells produce two different types of melanin, known as eumelanin and pheomelanin. Donna Sarkar, Discover Magazine, 12 Oct. 2022 Barn owls’ belly plumage is especially variable, ranging from ghostly white to chocolate brown, and can also either be immaculate or heavily spotted with black spots of variable sizes created by the deposition of eumelanin (ref). Grrlscientist, Forbes, 18 Apr. 2023 For most people, the skin becomes gradually darker as specialized cells kick into action to produce a protective pigment called eumelanin. Nina G. Jablonski, The Conversation, 6 Sep. 2022 Hair color itself comes from two pigments: eumelanin and pheomelanin. Nathaniel Scharping, Discover Magazine, 16 Apr. 2018 Gray and brown colors, for their parts, appear to arise from combinations of eumelanin, pheomelanin and pigment absence. Jakob Vinther, Scientific American, 1 Mar. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'eumelanin.' 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

eu- + melanin

First Known Use

1924, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of eumelanin was in 1924

Dictionary Entries Near eumelanin

Cite this Entry

“Eumelanin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eumelanin. Accessed 16 Jul. 2024.

Medical Definition

eumelanin

noun
eu·​mel·​a·​nin (ˈ)yü-ˈme-lə-nən How to pronounce eumelanin (audio)
: a brown to black pigment that is the most common form of melanin

Note: Epidermal eumelanin helps to protect against damage from ultraviolet radiation by scattering and absorbing radiation reducing its penetration through the skin.

The more eumelanin (brown pigment) you have, the darker your skin color …Scientific American
Research shows that black hair contains about 99 percent eumelanin, brown and blond hair 95 percent eumelanin, and red hair 67 percent eumelanin.Kathy Wollard, Newsday
The marked spectrum of color and diversity of patterns that we are in mammals arises, unexpectedly, from variation in the quantity, quality, and regional distribution of just two types of pigment—black eumelanin and yellow pheomelanin.Sophie I. Candille et al., Science
compare neuromelanin, pheomelanin
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