keratin

noun
ker·a·tin | \ ˈker-ə-tən \

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 \ adjective

Examples of keratin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Pangolin scales contain keratin, a protein also found in rhino horn and human fingernails. Washington Post, "In South Africa, plans for a refuge for pangolins in peril," 16 June 2018 In modern birds, these corneocytes are fatty and keratin is loosely packed, allowing the birds to not only shed dandruff, but help them stay cool while doing energy-intensive activities like flying. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Dinosaurs Had Dandruff, Too," 30 May 2018 For at-home keratin products, try Paul Mitchell's Awapuhi Wild Ginger line. Jessica Prince Erlich, Harper's BAZAAR, "13 Secrets to Long, Thick, Shiny Hair," 7 Nov. 2016 Olaplex is a professional-level hair treatment that's specifically designed to strengthen your hair by rebuilding its keratin bonds (i.e. the stuff that's required for a lifetime of good hair days). Alex Warner, Marie Claire, "Drew Barrymore Swears This $28 Hair Product Fixed Her Damaged, Dyed Hair," 24 May 2018 Meanwhile, Colorlink technology rebuilds keratin structures, so your hair color won’t fade after a few washes. Shannon Barbour, The Cut, "A Hair-Care Line That Will Make Your Dye Job Last Longer," 27 Apr. 2018 Bird feathers, like human hair and nails, are made of a protein called keratin. New York Times, "Where Do Birds Flock Together? Australians Are Mailing In Feathers to Help Find Out," 21 Mar. 2018 Only at the very tip of the snout does the beak become recognizable, covered in a hard layer of keratin similar to modern birds. Julissa Treviño, Smithsonian, "3-D Scans of Fossil Beaks Show How Modern Birds Came to Be," 4 May 2018 Despite its dinosaurlike teeth, Ichthyornis had a hooked beak, likely covered by a hard layer of keratin, on the tip of its snout. Gretchen Vogel, Science | AAAS, "Fossils reveal how ancient birds got their beaks," 2 May 2018

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

21 Aug 2018

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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 \

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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