Definition of protein
1 : any of various naturally occurring extremely complex substances that consist of amino-acid residues joined by peptide bonds, contain the elements carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, usually sulfur, and occasionally other elements (such as phosphorus or iron), and include many essential biological compounds (such as enzymes, hormones, or antibodies)
2 : the total nitrogenous material in plant or animal substances
Examples of protein in a sentence
You need more protein in your diet.
These foods are an excellent source of protein.
These foods have all of the essential proteins.
Origin and Etymology of protein
French protéine, from Late Greek prōteios primary, from Greek prōtos first — more at prot-
First Known Use: 1886
PROTEIN Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of protein for English Language Learners
: a substance found in foods (such as meat, milk, eggs, and beans) that is an important part of the human diet
PROTEIN Defined for Kids
Definition of protein for Students
: a nutrient found in food (as meat, milk, eggs, and beans) that is made up of many amino acids joined together, is a necessary part of the diet, and is essential for normal cell structure and function
Medical Definition of protein
1: any of numerous naturally occurring extremely complex substances (as an enzyme or antibody) that consist of amino acid residues joined by peptide bonds, contain the elements carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, usually sulfur, and occasionally other elements (as phosphorus or iron), that are essential constituents of all living cells, that are synthesized from raw materials by plants but assimilated as separate amino acids by animals, that are both acidic and basic and usually colloidal in nature although many have been crystallized, and that are hydrolyzable by acids, alkalies, proteolytic enzymes, and putrefactive bacteria to polypeptides, to simpler peptides, and ultimately to alpha-amino acids
2: the total nitrogenous material in plant or animal substances; especially : crude protein
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