keratin

noun
ker·​a·​tin | \ ˈker-ə-tən How to pronounce keratin (audio) \

Definition of keratin

: any of various sulfur-containing fibrous proteins that form the chemical basis of horny epidermal tissues (such as hair and nails)

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Other Words from keratin

keratinous \ kə-​ˈra-​tə-​nəs How to pronounce keratinous (audio) \ adjective

Examples of keratin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Pangolin scales mostly consist of keratin, the same stuff that makes up fingernails. Los Angeles Times, "It’s a mammal. It looks like an artichoke. And China is driving it toward extinction," 1 Sep. 2019 As the feathers grow, the keratin keeps a record of the bird’s diet, much like the rings of a tree. New York Times, "Where Do Birds Flock Together? Australians Are Mailing In Feathers to Help Find Out," 21 Mar. 2018 The horns are composed largely of the protein keratin, also the chief component in hair and fingernails. Fox News, "Trump admin to allow trophy hunter to import rare black rhino parts to US," 7 Sep. 2019 The horns are composed largely of the protein keratin, also the chief component in hair and fingernails. Michael Biesecker, Detroit Free Press, "Shelby Township trophy hunter to import body of rare black rhino," 6 Sep. 2019 The horns are composed largely of the protein keratin, also the chief component in hair and fingernails. NBC News, "Trophy hunter who paid $400G for rhino kill allowed to import remains by Trump admin," 6 Sep. 2019 Salon keratin treatments often claim to be free of the f-word too. Olivia Fleming & Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Ultimate Guide to Clean Beauty," 12 Aug. 2019 As for the whale’s bristly baleen, these fibers and plates are flexible and resistant to fracture thanks to high levels of keratin. Sarah Keartes, National Geographic, "How a humpback whale ended up with a sea lion in its mouth," 30 July 2019 But there has been no proof there is a medicinal benefit from the horns, which are made of keratin, the same component of human hair and nails. Washington Post, "Vietnam confiscates smuggled rhino horns worth $4 million," 30 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'keratin.' 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 keratin

circa 1849, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for keratin

borrowed from German Keratin, from Greek kerat-, stem of kéras "horn" + German -in -in entry 1 — more at kerato-

Note: The term was introduced by the German physician and chemist Johann Franz Simon (1807-43) in Handbuch der angewandten medizinischen Chemie, 1. Theil, Medizinisch-analytische Chemie (Berlin, 1840), p. 49.

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Statistics for keratin

Last Updated

11 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for keratin

The first known use of keratin was circa 1849

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More Definitions for keratin

keratin

noun
ker·​a·​tin | \ ˈker-ət-ən How to pronounce keratin (audio) \

Medical Definition of keratin

: any of various sulfur-containing fibrous proteins that form the chemical basis of horny epidermal tissues (as hair and nails) and are typically not digested by enzymes of the gastrointestinal tract — see pseudokeratin

More from Merriam-Webster on keratin

Britannica English: Translation of keratin for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about keratin

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