in·​su·​lin | \ ˈin(t)-s(ə-)lən How to pronounce insulin (audio) \

Definition of insulin

: a protein pancreatic hormone secreted by the beta cells of the islets of Langerhans that is essential especially for the metabolism of carbohydrates and the regulation of glucose levels in the blood and that when insufficiently produced results in diabetes mellitus

Examples of insulin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Furthermore, Senate Republicans passed reforms to lower the cost of prescription drugs, including insulin, and increase health care access across the state. Paul Gazelka, Star Tribune, "The case for Minnesota Republicans," 23 Oct. 2020 Like all nursing assistants at the medical center, Mays was not authorized to administer medication, including insulin. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, "6 families reach tentative settlements in West Virginia VA hospital deaths," 12 Oct. 2020 But her main worry was her 71-year-old mother, who had diabetes and had been rationing her insulin for days. Los Angeles Times, "‘We called it Voyage of the Damned’: Days of despair on the Grand Princess," 23 Dec. 2020 Kick your medication storage into high-tech gear with this Bluetooth number that connects to your smartphone and alerts you if your medications (insulin, pen injectors, hormones, etc.) exceed safe levels. Noelle Ike, CNN Underscored, "33 genius ways to spend your FSA dollars before they expire," 22 Dec. 2020 The enzymes have helped reveal the nature of disease and hastened the rise of recombinant DNA technology, which has been used to create human insulin, a vaccine for hepatitis B, and diagnostic tests for HIV. Gary Robbins, San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego Nobel laureate Hamilton Smith, who found life-saving ways to tweak genes, retires at 89," 19 Dec. 2020 Fasting can help regulate insulin, which is the hormone associated with weight gain and fat storage. Jean Chen Smith, The Enquirer, "Keto? Fasting? Vegan? How all those fad diets stack up," 4 Nov. 2020 To explain further: Excess sugar drives the pancreas to produce extra insulin, a hormone involved in blood sugar regulation. Lisa Bain, Good Housekeeping, "How Sugar Affects the Brain, According to a Neuroscience Expert," 26 Oct. 2020 Between 2017 and 2018, insulin prices for seniors rose. Politifact Staff, Detroit Free Press, "Fact-checking the first 2020 presidential debate: Donald Trump vs. Joe Biden," 30 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'insulin.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of insulin

1914, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for insulin

New Latin insula islet (of Langerhans), from Latin, island

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Time Traveler for insulin

Time Traveler

The first known use of insulin was in 1914

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Statistics for insulin

Last Updated

17 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Insulin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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How to pronounce insulin (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of insulin

medical : a substance that your body makes and uses to turn sugar into energy


in·​su·​lin | \ ˈin-sə-lən How to pronounce insulin (audio) \

Kids Definition of insulin

: a hormone made by the pancreas that helps the cells in the body take up glucose from the blood and that is used to treat diabetes


in·​su·​lin | \ ˈin(t)-s(ə-)lən How to pronounce insulin (audio) \

Medical Definition of insulin

: a protein hormone that is synthesized in the pancreas from proinsulin and secreted by the beta cells of the islets of Langerhans, that is essential for the metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins, that regulates blood sugar levels by facilitating the uptake of glucose into tissues, by promoting its conversion into glycogen, fatty acids, and triglycerides, and by reducing the release of glucose from the liver, and that when produced in insufficient quantities results in diabetes mellitus — see iletin

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More from Merriam-Webster on insulin

Nglish: Translation of insulin for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of insulin for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about insulin

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