lectin

noun

lec·​tin ˈlek-tən How to pronounce lectin (audio)
: any of a group of proteins especially of plants that are not antibodies and do not originate in an immune system but bind specifically to carbohydrate-containing receptors on cell surfaces (as of red blood cells)

Examples of lectin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Cooking beans, Crumble Smith says, helps remove naturally occurring lectins and phytic acid, which can decrease the absorption of minerals like iron and calcium. USA TODAY, 30 July 2023 Be forewarned: The berries can’t be eaten raw, as the plant has lectin and cyanide in it, which can cause intense stomach and lower intestine issues. Deanna Kizis, Sunset Magazine, 5 Apr. 2023 Red kidney beans have a high lectin content, and eating a raw handful can lead to a painful reaction. Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi, Discover Magazine, 1 Sep. 2022 In the long term, continuous lectin ingestion can cause serious issues. Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi, Discover Magazine, 1 Sep. 2022 The side of the story that doesn’t always get told is that lectins are rendered harmless during cooking. Abby Langer, SELF, 5 Jan. 2019 Most of us, however, don’t have a problem with the lectins in legumes, the gluten in grains, and the sugar in a reasonable amount of fruit. Abby Langer, SELF, 6 Sep. 2018 On Goop, Gundry promotes the idea that lectins, a type of protein found in certain plants, such as kidney beans, cause diseases like asthma, multiple sclerosis, or irritable bowel syndrome. Olga Khazan, The Atlantic, 12 Sep. 2017 But when the lectin binds, the bacteria that attaches changes the balance of the droplets, causing them to tip on their side. Nathan Hurst, Smithsonian, 18 Apr. 2017 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Latin lectus (past participle of legere to pick, select) + -in entry 1 — more at legend

First Known Use

1954, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of lectin was in 1954

Dictionary Entries Near lectin

Cite this Entry

“Lectin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lectin. Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Medical Definition

lectin

noun
lec·​tin ˈlek-tən How to pronounce lectin (audio)
: any of a group of proteins especially of plants that are not antibodies and do not originate in an immune system but bind specifically to carbohydrate-containing receptors on cell surfaces (as of red blood cells)

More from Merriam-Webster on lectin

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