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
Nonalbino animals have melanin in their pupils that absorbs incoming light, keeping it from reflecting off of the retina.
The recessive genetic condition, which limits the body's production of melanin and results in lack of pigmentation in skin, hair and eyes — often leading to skin cancer or eye damage — affects as many as 1 in every 1,400 people in Africa.
The team is also interested in seeing whether this process could benefit people with skin conditions like vitiligo, an autoimmune disease where parts of the skin stop producing melanin, causing a patchy appearance.
Their skins are completely white because of a lack of melanin.
That same weekend, however, is also Washington, D.C.’s Black Pride, so the sea of melanin is an embarrassment of riches.
Once the melanin in hair is targeted, the laser burns all the way down the hair follicle and root.
Melanoma arises in the melanocytes, cells that produce melanin and give the skin color.
Tanning is due to the production of extra melanin pigment induced by UVA rays.
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
MELANIN Defined for English Language Learners
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 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
Seen and Heard
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