hapten

noun

hap·​ten ˈhap-ˌten How to pronounce hapten (audio)
: a small separable part of an antigen that reacts specifically with an antibody but is incapable of stimulating antibody production except in combination with a carrier protein molecule
haptenic adjective

Word History

Etymology

borrowed from German Hapten, from Greek hapt- (stem of háptein "to fasten," háptesthai "to fasten oneself onto, grasp") + German -en (in Antigen antigen) — more at haptics

Note: Term introduced by Karl landsteiner in "Über heterogenetisches Hapten und Antigen," Biochemische Zeitschrift, Band 119 (1921), pp. 294-306.

First Known Use

1921, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hapten was in 1921

Dictionary Entries Near hapten

Cite this Entry

“Hapten.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hapten. Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition

hapten

noun
hap·​ten ˈhap-ˌten How to pronounce hapten (audio)
: a small separable part of an antigen that reacts specifically with an antibody but is incapable of stimulating antibody production except in combination with an associated protein molecule
haptenic adjective
haptenated adjective

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