tre·​ha·​lose tri-ˈhä-ˌlōs How to pronounce trehalose (audio)
: a crystalline disaccharide C12H22O11 that is found in various organisms (such as fungi and insects), is about half as sweet as sucrose, and is sometimes used as a sweetener in commercially prepared foods

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The sugar called trehalose can help some living things survive long periods without water, even if their cells are completely dried out. Coren Walters-stewart, Discover Magazine, 23 Nov. 2022 The first of the two enzymes, trehalase, breaks down the trehalose into glucose, then the second enzyme converts the glucose into another product and releases the electrons. Sarah Zhang, Discover Magazine, 6 Feb. 2012 When dried out, these teeny crustaceans will fill their cells with a sugar called trehalose that suspends molecules within a glassy matrix, preserving them like fossils in amber. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, 10 Dec. 2019 Researchers believe this trehalose molecule not only replaces water, but also in some cases can physically constrain the critter's remaining water molecules, keeping them from rapidly expanding when faced with hot and cold temperatures. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, 7 Aug. 2019 Their process uses pullulan, used in the food industry to extend the shelf life of food, and trehalose, a stabilizing agent. Kelsey Piper, Vox, 5 June 2019 To us, trehalose is an indistinguishable sweetener. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 10 Jan. 2018 When the mice drank trehalose-laced water, RT027 killed nearly 80 percent of them. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 10 Jan. 2018 Check the label for ingredients like brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, invert sugar, lactose, malt syrup, maltose, molasses, raw sugar, sucrose, trehalose and/or turbinado sugar. Rebecca Drudi,, 10 Sep. 2017 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'trehalose.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


International Scientific Vocabulary trehala, a sweet substance constituting the pupal covering of a beetle + -ose entry 2

First Known Use

1862, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of trehalose was in 1862

Dictionary Entries Near trehalose

Cite this Entry

“Trehalose.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Feb. 2023.

Medical Definition


tre·​ha·​lose -ˈhäl-ˌōs, -ˌōz How to pronounce trehalose (audio)
: a crystalline disaccharide C12H22O11 stored instead of starch by many fungi and found in the blood of many insects

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