sphin·​go·​lip·​id | \ ˌsfiŋ-gō-ˈli-pəd How to pronounce sphingolipid (audio) \
plural sphingolipids

Definition of sphingolipid

: any of a group of lipids (such as ceramide) found especially in plant and animal cell membranes that possess a chemical backbone of sphingosine or one of its derivatives, contribute to the structural integrity of cell membranes, and are involved in mediating various cellular processes (such as those affecting cell growth and differentiation, apoptosis, and intracellular signaling) At least 300 different sphingolipids are synthesized in various mammalian cell types.— Yusuf A. Hannun and Robert M. Bell Elevated plasma levels of many of the sphingolipids have also been correlated with chronic disease …— Oswald Quehenberger and Edward A. Dennis — see sphingolipidosis

First Known Use of sphingolipid

1954, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sphingolipid

sphingo- (in sphingosine) + lipid

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The first known use of sphingolipid was in 1954

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Last Updated

27 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sphingolipid.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sphingolipid. Accessed 27 May. 2020.

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sphin·​go·​lip·​id | \ ˌsfiŋ-gō-ˈlip-əd How to pronounce sphingolipid (audio) \

Medical Definition of sphingolipid

: any of a group of lipids (as sphingomyelins and cerebrosides) that yield sphingosine or one of its derivatives as one product of hydrolysis

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