porphyrin

noun

por·​phy·​rin ˈpȯr-fə-rən How to pronounce porphyrin (audio)
: any of various compounds with a macrocyclic structure that consists essentially of four pyrrole rings joined by four =CH− groups
especially : one (such as chlorophyll or hemoglobin) containing a central metal atom and usually exhibiting biological activity

Examples of porphyrin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The structure of the porphyrin has been simplified in this diagram. IEEE Spectrum, 29 Mar. 2024 That's because blue light is an effective weapon against bacteria porphyrins, which are sensitive to light. USA TODAY, 27 Feb. 2024 The report consisted of eight general analyses: spots, wrinkles, texture, pores, UV spots, brown spots, red areas, and porphyrins. India Espy-Jones, Essence, 16 Nov. 2023 The mutation affects an enzyme involved in turning compounds called porphyrins and porphyrin precursors into heme, which makes up hemoglobin, the iron-containing red protein in blood responsible for transporting oxygen. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 28 Apr. 2023 But there are other pigments to look for in fossils, including carotenoids, which produce bright reds and yellows, and porphyrins, which produce such hues as green, red and blue. Jakob Vinther, Scientific American, 1 Mar. 2017 The researchers’ gold-scrubber is based on an organic compound called a porphyrin. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, 28 June 2020 The compounds, called porphyrins, had previously been shown to be adept at absorbing light and using that energy to convert oxygen molecules in the air to a reactive form known as singlet oxygen. Robert F. Service, Science | AAAS, 3 Sep. 2019

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

Word History

Etymology

International Scientific Vocabulary, from Greek porphyra purple

First Known Use

1910, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of porphyrin was in 1910

Dictionary Entries Near porphyrin

Cite this Entry

“Porphyrin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/porphyrin. Accessed 14 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition

porphyrin

noun
por·​phy·​rin ˈpȯr-fə-rən How to pronounce porphyrin (audio)
: any of various compounds with a structure that consists essentially of four pyrrole rings joined by four =CH− groups
especially : one (as chlorophyll or hemoglobin) containing a central metal atom and usually having biological activity

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