Definitions

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

  • n. Any of a group of naturally occurring dark pigments, especially the pigment found in skin, hair, fur, and feathers.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of a group of naturally occurring dark pigments, especially the pigment found in skin, hair, fur, and feathers.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A black pigment found in the pigment-bearing cells of the skin (particularly in the skin of the negro), in the epithelial cells of the external layer of the retina (then called fuscin), in the outer layer of the choroid, and elsewhere. It is supposed to be derived from the decomposition of hemoglobin.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The black pigment of the hair, choroid, retina, and epidermis of colored races; also, the dark pigment seen in melanæmia and in melanosarcoma and melanocarcinoma. The pigments in these cases may, however, be different.

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

  • n. insoluble pigments that account for the color of e.g. skin and scales and feathers

Etymologies

From New Latin, from Ancient Greek stem of μέλας (mélas, "black") +‎ -in (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • What determines how much melanin is present in the iris ishereditary genetics.

    The Eyes Have It

  • Though melanin is typically associated with ‘protective’ properties – absorbing and safely transforming different electromagnetic wavelengths, such as DNA-damaging ultraviolet light – the researchers had an inkling that a more extraordinary phenomenon was allowing the fungi to prosper; something still involving the combination of melanin and radiation, but beyond the bounds of radioactive protection.

    Radiation-Seeking Fungus « Isegoria

  • If you change a gene involved in melanin synthesis only expressed in the hair, you can change the hair color with no fuss.

    Matthew Yglesias » Height Versus Height

  • This Great Moment in Black History has been sponsored by the same old ignoramuses who still think melanin is destiny.

    January 2006

  • The melanin is eventually discharged from melanocytes and taken up by keratinocytes.

    Real Sun Tan Without the Danger | Impact Lab

  • The chemical substance melanin is the pigment which darkens skin color.

    LSD and the Third Eye

  • The material being targeted by the laser beam is called melanin, which is a pigment found in the skin, and which gives skin and hair its color.

    undefined

  • The scientists found that a peptide active in the hypothalamus called melanin-concentrating hormone or MCH can inactivate the reproductive system in times of hunger.

    Health News from Medical News Today

  • The color of a person’s eyes depends on the amount of a pigment called melanin present in the iris of the eye (melanin is also responsible for the coloring of our skin).

    The Eyes Have It

  • Dark skin races are largely protected by pigment, known as melanin, which largely blocks long-wave ultraviolet radiation.

    Samuel S. Epstein: How to Sunbathe Safely

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.