melanin

noun mel·a·nin \ ˈme-lə-nən \

Definition of melanin

: any of various black, dark brown, reddish-brown, or yellow pigments of animal or plant structures (such as skin or hair)

Recent Examples of melanin from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'melanin.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of melanin

1843


MELANIN Defined for English Language Learners

melanin

noun

Definition of melanin for English Language Learners

  • : a dark brown or black substance that is a natural part of people's skin, hair, and eyes


Medical Dictionary

melanin

noun mel·a·nin \ ˈmel-ə-nən \

medical Definition of melanin

: any of various black, dark brown, reddish brown, or yellow pigments of animal or plant structures (as skin, hair, the choroid, or a raw potato when exposed to air); especially : any of numerous animal pigments that are essentially polymeric derivatives of indole formed by enzymatic modification of tyrosine

Learn More about melanin


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up melanin? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

of, relating to, or being an oracle

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman-tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!