Definitions

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

  • n. A form of amylase in the saliva of humans and some animals that catalyzes the hydrolysis of starch into maltose and dextrin.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A form of amylase found in saliva that breaks down starch into maltose and dextrin.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An unorganized amylolytic ferment, on enzyme, present in human mixed saliva and in the saliva of some animals.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The peculiar principle of saliva, believed to be a proteid body, which acts as a ferment on starch, rapidly converting it into dextrose.

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

  • n. an amylase secreted in saliva

Etymologies

Greek ptualon, saliva (from ptūein, to spit) + -in.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

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