ke·​ra·​ti·​no·​cyte kə-ˈra-tə-nə-ˌsīt How to pronounce keratinocyte (audio) ˌker-ə-ˈti- How to pronounce keratinocyte (audio)
plural keratinocytes
: a cell of the epidermis that produces keratin, is formed in the basal epidermal layer above the dermis, divides to produce more keratinocytes, and ultimately migrates into the outer protective layers of the skin and undergoes final differentiation into a corneocyte
keratinocytes gain their strength from fibrous proteins called keratins, which assemble into long, intertwined cables.Steven Lanier McKnight

Examples of keratinocyte in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma – collectively known as keratinocyte cancers – account for more than 97% of skin cancer cases, but invasive melanomas cause the most deaths. Enrique Torchia, Fortune Well, 20 Aug. 2023 These vitamin D analogs bind to vitamin D receptors on keratinocytes, which are cells in the skin, to prevent or slow their growth, Lim said. Maggie O'Neill, Health, 25 July 2023 With acne, however, sebum, hair, and keratinocytes stick together in the pore. Angela Palmer Updated, Verywell Health, 5 July 2023 The melanosomes arrive there during development, when the melanocytes transfer them into specialized cells called keratinocytes that give rise to feathers and hair. Jakob Vinther, Scientific American, 1 Mar. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'keratinocyte.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


keratin + -o- + -cyte

First Known Use

1950, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of keratinocyte was in 1950

Dictionary Entries Near keratinocyte

Cite this Entry

“Keratinocyte.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Sep. 2023.

Medical Definition


ke·​ra·​ti·​no·​cyte kə-ˈrat-ᵊn-ə-ˌsīt How to pronounce keratinocyte (audio) ˌker-ə-ˈtin- How to pronounce keratinocyte (audio)
: an epidermal cell that produces keratin
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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