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)

Examples of melanin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Experts think melasma likely happens when your melanocytes (the color-making cells in your skin) go a little overboard in making the dark pigment known as melanin. Korin Miller, SELF, "What You Should Know About Melasma, Those Random Dark Spots on Your Face," 27 Aug. 2018 Melanin Madness Day: March 1 This day of glory lifts up all things melanin! Danielle Young, The Root, "14 Black Holidays We Wish Were Real That Are Not Juneteenth, Kwanzaa or MLK Day," 19 June 2018 One of these ingestibles can power a 5 milliWatt device (or, 0.005 of a watt) for up to 18 hours using 600 milligrams of active melanin material. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "You Can Swallow This Battery," 24 Aug. 2016 The melanin in your skin overreacts to UV damage and pools together to create an age spot. Melissa Matthews, Woman's Day, "The Foolproof Anti-Aging Skin Routine," 24 Aug. 2015 This build-up blocks the production of melanin, a.k.a. our hair's pigment. 7. Marci Robin, Good Housekeeping, "9 Things You Didn't Know About Gray Hair," 27 July 2018 The only difference between us is the melanin in our skin. Michael Harriot, The Root, "The Root’s Clapback Mailbag: Lotion Is the Cure for Racism," 18 May 2018 And despite what many believe, their fear of being infected with melanin wasn’t limited to that of blacks. Michael Harriot, The Root, "New Study Shows White People Don’t Like Living Near Black People; Captain Obvious Declines Comment," 25 Apr. 2018 Scientists like Kidwell argue that both external and ingested cocaine binds to melanin in the hair. Ellen Airhart, WIRED, "The Hairy Problem With Drug Testing," 1 Apr. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of melanin

1843, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for melanin

Last Updated

7 Jan 2019

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The first known use of melanin was in 1843

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More Definitions for melanin

melanin

noun

English Language Learners Definition of melanin

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

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

More from Merriam-Webster on melanin

Britannica English: Translation of melanin for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about melanin

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