1

prion

play
noun pri·on \ˈprī-ˌän\

Definition of prion

  1. :  any of several small petrels (genus Pachyptila of the family Procellariidae) of the southern hemisphere that are bluish gray above and white below

Origin and Etymology of prion

New Latin, from Greek priōn saw, from priein to saw; from its sawlike bill


First Known Use: 1848


2

prion

play
noun pri·on \ˈprē-ˌän\

Definition of prion

  1. :  prion protein <A prion is a protein of unknown function that resides on the surface of brain cells. — Sidney Perkowitz>; especially :  an abnormal form of prion protein that in mammals includes pathogenic forms which arise sporadically, as a result of genetic mutation, or by transmission (as by ingestion of infected tissue) and which upon accumulation in the brain cause a prion disease (such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy or Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease) <Abnormal proteins, known as prions, may trigger mad-cow disease simply by coming into contact with healthy proteins in the brain. — Time> < … the infectious prion conformation replicates itself in a host by catching the ‘benign’ host prion protein and forcing it into the infectious conformation. — Roland Riek>

Origin and Etymology of prion

proteinaceous + infectious + 2-on


First Known Use: 1982


Medical Dictionary

prion

play
noun pri·on \ˈprē-ˌän\

Medical Definition of prion

  1. :  any of various infectious proteins that are abnormal forms of normal cellular proteins, that proliferate by inducing the normal protein to convert to the abnormal form, and that in mammals include pathogenic forms which arise sporadically, as a result of genetic mutation, or by transmission (as by ingestion of infected tissue) and which upon accumulation in the brain cause a prion disease


Learn More about prion


Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a principle or belief held by a group

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ