from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. An enzyme complex found in intestinal and pancreatic juices that functions in the breakdown of polypeptides into amino acids.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A ferment discovered by O. Cohnheim in the intestinal mucosa, which is capable of causing the cleavage of acid albumins and albumoses into crystalline end-products of proteolytic digestion, but which is without effect upon the native albumins. It acts in neutral or feebly alkaline media. A similar ferment has apparently been found also in the vegetable world.
Latin ēripere, to snatch away (ē-, ex-, ex- + rapere, to seize; see rep- in Indo-European roots) + (p)epsin.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)