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 The story behind the bloated price of insulin is one of economic concentration, government regulation, and corporate greed. Longreads, "Longreads Best of 2019: Business Writing," 18 Dec. 2019 State data says about 15% of West Virginians rely on insulin. USA TODAY, "Skiing Santas, bird-friendly glass, insulin caravan: News from around our 50 states," 11 Dec. 2019 People with diabetes have higher-than-normal glucose levels in their blood, and depend on prescription insulin to regulate those levels and prevent potentially life-threatening complications. Dan Petrella,, "Illinois lawmakers approve cannabis, insulin measures, but flavored vaping ban and student athlete endorsement bills are left by wayside," 15 Nov. 2019 There are several hormones that are thought to be involved in appetite, metabolism, and weight management, and GOLO focuses on insulin, which is supposed to regulate your blood sugar. Stephanie Dolgoff, Good Housekeeping, "What Is the GOLO Diet and Does the Plan Work for Weight Loss?," 30 Oct. 2019 Many had diabetes and depended on insulin — which needs refrigeration. Kaiser Health News, The Denver Post, "Why Denver Health and other hospitals are getting into the housing business," 7 Oct. 2019 This second provision would cover cutting-edge biologic drugs as well mainstays like insulin. Fortune, "Trump Administration to Allow Americans to Get Cheaper Drugs from Canada," 31 July 2019 And long-available drugs like insulin have seen serial price increases that forced some people with diabetes to ration their own doses. Author: Ricardo Alonso-zaldivar, Anchorage Daily News, "US to set up plan allowing prescription meds from Canada," 31 July 2019 This has now been shown to depend on insulin signaling caused by the presence of larvae in one ant species. Quanta Magazine, "How Equality and Inequality Shape the Birds and the Bees," 17 Oct. 2018

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

3 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Insulin.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 27 January 2020.

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More Definitions for insulin


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

Spanish Central: Translation of insulin

Nglish: Translation of insulin for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on insulin

What made you want to look up insulin? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one that suddenly gains wealth or power

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