from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A term originally introduced by Buchner to designate certain substances present in normal blood-serum which are capable of destroying various foreign cellular elements, such as bacteria, red blood-corpnscles, etc.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun biochemistry, dated A protective substance that exists in the serum or other bodily fluid and is capable of killing microorganisms; complement.


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

[Greek alexein, to ward off + –in.]


  • In 1900, he ascertained that, with the help of its specific antibody, the substance used to produce immunity fixes the alexin or complement in such a way that, when proportions between the three bodies are favourable, the complement disappears completely from the mixture.

    Physiology or Medicine 1919 - Presentation Speech

  • In such a case, there form in the guinea-pig antibodies which, in the presence of alexin or complement, have a destructive action on the red corpuscles of the rabbit, but not on those of other animals.

    Physiology or Medicine 1919 - Presentation Speech

  • It becomes "bactericidal," produces a bactericidal poison (called an alexin) which is usually present in normal blood, but is greatly increased when large numbers of certain poisonous microbes (_e. g._ those of typhoid fever) get into the blood.

    More Science From an Easy Chair

  • After we tried we can arrive at a conclusion and not before. alexin


  • a body formed at the time of immunization, the bacteriolytic antibody, and of a substance present in normal serum and not under the influence of immunization, the alexin or the complement.

    Physiology or Medicine 1919 - Presentation Speech


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  • "..., the alexin of our cure grows by a mountain rock, ..."

    — Thomas Wolfe Look Homeward, Angel

    April 1, 2011