Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of a group of organic compounds, including the fats, oils, waxes, sterols, and triglycerides, that are insoluble in water but soluble in nonpolar organic solvents, are oily to the touch, and together with carbohydrates and proteins constitute the principal structural material of living cells.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of a group of organic compounds including the fats, oils, waxes, sterols, and triglycerides. Lipids are characterized by being insoluble in water, and account for most of the fat present in the human body. They are, however, soluble in nonpolar organic solvents.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any of a variety of oily or greasy organic compounds found as major structural components of living cells; they are insoluble in water but soluble in organic solvents such as alcohol and ether, and include the common fats, cholesterol and other steroids, phospholipids, sphingolipids, waxes, and fatty acids; some of the lipids, together with proteins and carbohydrates, form an essential structural component of living cells, as in the cell walls and membranes. The term lipid refers to its solubility in nonpolar solvents, and has no significance with regard to chemical structure.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an oily organic compound insoluble in water but soluble in organic solvents; essential structural component of living cells (along with proteins and carbohydrates)

Etymologies

French lipide : Greek lipos, fat; see lipo- + French -ide, -ide.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

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