lig·​nin | \ ˈlig-nən How to pronounce lignin (audio) \

Definition of lignin

: an amorphous polymer related to cellulose that provides rigidity and together with cellulose forms the woody cell walls of plants and the cementing material between them

Examples of lignin in a Sentence

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Recent breakthroughs in producing plastics from cellulose or lignin (the dry matter in plants) promise to overcome those drawbacks. Javier Garcia Martinez, Scientific American, "Bioplastics Could Solve a Major Pollution Problem," 1 July 2019 Ultraviolet rays break down lignin, the component in wood that holds the fibers together. Jeanne Huber, Washington Post, "Two enemies of outdoor wooden sculptures: Rain and sun," 24 June 2019 The scientists discovered that gribbles use hemocyanins to attack the strong bonds of lignin. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The Gribble Worm Could Hold Secrets for Cheaper Renewable Energy," 5 Dec. 2018 Beckham and his colleagues are looking to lignin, a durable polymer that makes trees and grasses stand tall, and could be used to make a whole suite of other plastics and useful materials. Eva Botkin-kowacki, The Christian Science Monitor, "Closing the loop on plastic recycling?," 5 July 2018 Without all that lignin, the woody material turned pure white, allowing it to reflect incoming light rather than absorb it (which also helps to block heat). Amina Khan,, "This is 'nanowood,' a new invention that could greatly reduce humanity's carbon footprint," 10 Mar. 2018 Instead, the main components of wood are cellulose and lignin. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Lumber’s lure: Thanks to physics, viable biofuel may grow in the woods," 5 Apr. 2018 Removing the lignin, a heat conductor, gave the resulting product powerful insulating capabilities. Emily Matchar, Smithsonian, "Could ‘Nanowood’ Replace Styrofoam?," 26 Mar. 2018 The first step in that process (as in Hu’s) is to remove lignin, a substance that not only stiffens wood but also creates its brownish color. Sid Perkins, Scientific American, "Stronger Than Steel, Able to Stop a Speeding Bullet—It’s Super Wood!," 7 Feb. 2018

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

1822, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

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The first known use of lignin was in 1822

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lig·​nin | \ ˈlig-nən How to pronounce lignin (audio) \

Medical Definition of lignin

: an amorphous polymeric substance related to cellulose that together with cellulose forms the woody cell walls of plants and the cementing material between them

More from Merriam-Webster on lignin Encyclopedia article about lignin

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food or victuals

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