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

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Examples of insulin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Lila has type 1 diabetes, meaning that her pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin, the hormone which regulates the amount of glucose in your blood. Emily Tannenbaum, Glamour, 3 May 2022 This includes items like refrigerators, washing machines, insulin and an ultrasound machine. Fox News, 25 Apr. 2022 Some lawmakers have additional priorities, including a nascent, bipartisan effort in the Senate to try to lower the price of insulin, which Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., previously pledged to bring to the floor in the weeks ahead. Tony Romm, Anchorage Daily News, 24 Apr. 2022 Glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1, for type-2 diabetes) and insulin make up 80% of sales. Randy Watts, Forbes, 14 Apr. 2022 Humalog, an insulin produced by Eli Lilly and commonly used by diabetics, went from $21 a vial when it was introduced in 1996 to $275 today — an increase of 1,209 percent. Washington Post, 14 Apr. 2022 This occurs when your body doesn’t make enough insulin (a hormone that regulates blood sugar) or when your body can’t use the hormone efficiently, according to the CDC. Ashley Abramson, SELF, 13 Apr. 2022 As consumers, advocates and others prioritize their fight to lower prescription drug costs, insulin is usually first in line. Ana B. Ibarra, San Francisco Chronicle, 10 Apr. 2022 Insulin is necessary to escort glucose into the cells, and without insulin, glucose remains in the blood. Bryant Stamford, The Courier-Journal, 7 Apr. 2022 See More

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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Learn More About insulin

Time Traveler for insulin

Time Traveler

The first known use of insulin was in 1914

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Dictionary Entries Near insulin



insulin-dependent diabetes

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Statistics for insulin

Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Insulin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for insulin


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

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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