holocrine

adjective

ho·​lo·​crine ˈhō-lə-krən How to pronounce holocrine (audio)
-ˌkrīn,
-ˌkrēn,
ˈhä-
: producing or being a secretion resulting from lysis of secretory cells
holocrine sebaceous glands

Word History

Etymology

borrowed from French olocrine (later holocrine), from olo- holo- + -crine, from the stem of Greek krī́nein "to separate, choose, decide" — more at certain entry 1

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."

First Known Use

circa 1905, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of holocrine was circa 1905

Dictionary Entries Near holocrine

Cite this Entry

“Holocrine.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/holocrine. Accessed 6 Jun. 2023.

Medical Definition

holocrine

adjective
ho·​lo·​crine ˈhō-lə-krən How to pronounce holocrine (audio) -ˌkrīn How to pronounce holocrine (audio) -ˌkrēn How to pronounce holocrine (audio)
ˈhäl-ə-
: 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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