from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A white crystalline disaccharide, C12H22O11, found in milk, that may be hydrolyzed to yield glucose and galactose. Refined lactose obtained from whey is used in infant foods, bakery products, confections, and pharmaceuticals as a diluent and excipient.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Sugar of milk, C12H22O11, obtained by evaporating whey, filtering through animal charcoal, and crystallizing.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Physiol. Chem.) The main sugar present in milk, called also sugar of milk or milk sugar. When isolated pure it is obtained crystalline; it is separable from the whey by evaporation and crystallization. It is a disaccharide with the formula C12H22O11, being chemically 4-(β-D-galactosido)-D-glucose. It has a slightly sweet taste, is dextrorotary, and is much less soluble in water than either cane sugar or glucose. Formerly called lactin. When hydrolyzed it yields glucose and galactose. In cells it may be hydrolyzed by the enzyme β-galactosidase.
  • noun (Chem.) See Galactose.

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

  • noun biochemistry The disaccharide sugar of milk and dairy products, C12H22O11, (a product of glucose and galactose) used as a food and in medicinal compounds.

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

  • noun a sugar comprising one glucose molecule linked to a galactose molecule; occurs only in milk


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • Blech. Then again, I'm one of those lactose intolerants.

    November 20, 2007

  • Me too. That's why this word is in my list, close to diarrhea.

    March 30, 2008

  • But lactose is very useful, if you want to paint something. With buttermilk you can. You can paint with Coca-Cola, too. Ask any decorative painter.

    March 3, 2009

  • Me three.

    I'm guessing you can also paint with diarrhea. But why would anyone want to?

    March 3, 2009

  • Buttermillk and pigments, for example, are not poisonous, like many paints are. It is also easier to use, if you want to make corrections to your work, like this faux marble, while at it. You finish your work wit lacquer, of course.. Otherwise it would vanish up in the air... It is traditional and also organic way to paint. Diarrhea instead.. You never know what it is made of. ;o]

    March 3, 2009

  • I'm guessing you don't watch "South Park" much, osa en cadenas.

    March 3, 2009

  • Well, I do South Park, but I have missed that one obviously.

    March 3, 2009

  • What about that dude that used elephant dung on a painting of the Virgin Mary? I mean... did he watch South Park?

    March 3, 2009

  • Where else could a person get such a... dungylicious idea??!

    March 3, 2009