ol·​i·​go·​sac·​cha·​ride ˈä-li-gō-ˈsa-kə-ˌrīd How to pronounce oligosaccharide (audio)
: a saccharide that contains usually three to ten monosaccharide units

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The prebiotics that are commonly highlighted are oligosaccharides, which are a type of carbohydrate naturally found in a variety of plant foods. Valerie Agyeman, Good Housekeeping, 21 Mar. 2023 Researchers in Ireland asserted that there is no fetal microbiome; tiny bites of solid food reduce breastfeeding duration; and living near green environments increases the oligosaccharide diversity of a mother’s milk. Lisa Wells, Harper’s Magazine , 13 Mar. 2023 This relationship has enabled the two companies to do joint research to further optimize the digestibility of varieties for the specific fish species that BioMar raises – for instance by reducing certain oligosaccharides. Steven Savage, Forbes, 7 Mar. 2023 The same oligosaccharides on red blood cells also appear on the surface of cells that line the small intestine. Patricia L. Foster, The Conversation, 10 Jan. 2020 Norovirus and a few other viruses use these oligosaccharides to grab onto and infect the intestinal cells. Patricia L. Foster, The Conversation, 10 Jan. 2020 In short, this concept tries to explain why oligosaccharides – which are indigestible to babies – are the third-most prominent component in milk, are complex in structure and are variable between species. Enea Rezzonico, Scientific American, 17 Feb. 2015 As studies uncovered the importance of human milk oligosaccharides, so began attempts to mimic them in infant formula. Alice Callahan, Smithsonian, 25 Oct. 2019 These include lactose, fructose, sugar alcohols and specific types of fiber — the oligosaccharides — found in many wheat, rye barley, beans, nuts and many vegetables. Carrie Dennett, Washington Post, 4 Nov. 2019 See More

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

Word History


International Scientific Vocabulary

First Known Use

1930, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of oligosaccharide was in 1930

Dictionary Entries Near oligosaccharide

Cite this Entry

“Oligosaccharide.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oligosaccharide. Accessed 4 Jun. 2023.

Medical Definition


oli·​go·​sac·​cha·​ride ˌäl-i-gō-ˈsak-ə-ˌrīd, ˌō-li- How to pronounce oligosaccharide (audio)
: a saccharide that contains usually three to ten monosaccharide units

More from Merriam-Webster on oligosaccharide

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