holocrine

adjective ho·lo·crine \ ˈhō-lə-krən , -ˌkrīn , -ˌkrēn , ˈhä- \
|Updated on: 12 Jun 2018

Definition of holocrine

: producing or being a secretion resulting from lysis of secretory cells
  • holocrine sebaceous glands

Origin and Etymology of holocrine

borrowed from French olocrine (later holocrine), from olo- holo- + -crine, from the stem of Greek krī́nein "to separate, choose, decide" — more at 1certain
Note: The word was introduced, along with mérocrine merocrine, by the French physician and histologist Louis-Antoine Ranvier (1835-1922) in "Le mécanisme de la sécrétion," Journal de micrographie, tome 11 (1887), p. 9. Ranvier does not proffer an etymology, but presumably he takes krī́nein to mean "secrete" or "excrete," though this meaning is only attested in classical Greek for the prefixed form ekkrī́nein, with a nominal derivative ékkrisis "secretion."


Medical Dictionary

holocrine

adjective ho·lo·crine \ ˈhō-lə-krən , -ˌkrīn , -ˌkrēn , ˈhäl-ə- \

medical Definition of holocrine

: producing or being a secretion resulting from lysis of secretory cells
  • holocrine glands
  • holocrine secretions
  • holocrine activity
— compare apocrine, eccrine, merocrine

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