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

  • n. An enzyme that catalyzes the lysis of proteins, obtained from the unripe fruit of the papaya and used as a meat tenderizer and in medicine as a digestive aid.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A proteolytic enzyme in papaya fruit. May aid in digestion and have other health benefits.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A proteolytic ferment, like trypsin, present in the juice of the green fruit of the papaw (Carica Papaya) of tropical America.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A proteolytic ferment obtained from the half-ripe fruit of the papaw-tree, Carica papaya.

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

  • n. a proteolytic enzyme obtained from the unripe papaya; used as a meat tenderizer


papa(ya) + -in.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Circa 19th century, from papaya (Wiktionary)


  • Coz I still don't know what chemical substances are both present in papain and fabric softener which is responsible in softening the cloths.

    Archive 2006-10-01

  • Papaya contains a substance called papain, which is chemically similar to pepsin, an enzyme that helps digest protein in the body.

    Earl Mindell’s New Herb Bible

  • Both the seeds and the fruit contain an active principle called papain, which is really a vegetable pepsin, that has the effect of greatly assisting in the assimilation of all food with which it is eaten, hence it is a valuable remedy in the case of dyspepsia, and persons who take the fruit regularly are never subject to this exceedingly troublesome disease.

    Fruits of Queensland

  • The skin cream contains an enzyme called papain, derived from the tropical papaya plant, and is used to treat skin ulcers from diabetes and other causes.

    KWCH - RSS

  • The skin cream contains an enzyme called papain, derived from the tropical papaya plant. Top headlines

  • The green fruit contains vessels of milky latex rich in the protein-digesting enzyme papain, which is found in some meat tenderizers.

    On Food and Cooking, The Science and Lore of the Kitchen

  • The active principle of the juice known as papain, said to be capable of digesting two hundred times its weight of fibrine, is used for many disorders and ailments, from dyspepsia to ringworm and ichthyosis or fish-skin disease.

    The Confessions of a Beachcomber

  • The enzymes from the fruit, known as papain, exfoliate dry skin and reduce melanin accumulation.

    The Times of India

  • "The molecular inhibitor we developed is very potent against the SARS virus by binding to and blocking the use of a specific protein, called papain-like protease, or PLpro, involved in viral replication and evasion of the immune system," said Ghosh who has a joint appointment in chemistry and medicinal chemistry and molecular pharmacology. - latest science and technology news stories

  • Besides its use as a fruit and vegetable, the papaw makes a fair conserve and an excellent sauce, and its medicinal principle, "papain," is an article of commerce.

    Fruits of Queensland


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