Definitions

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

  • n. A digestive enzyme found in gastric juice that catalyzes the breakdown of protein to peptides.
  • n. A substance containing pepsin, obtained from the stomachs of hogs and calves and used as a digestive aid.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A digestive enzyme that chemically digests, or breaks down, proteins into shorter chains of amino acids.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A proteolytic enzyme (MW 34,500) contained in the secretory glands of the stomach. In the gastric juice it is united with dilute hydrochloric acid (0.2 per cent, approximately) and the two together constitute the active portion of the digestive fluid. It degrades proteins to proteoses and peptides, and is notable for having a very low pH optimum for its activity. It is the active agent in the gastric juice of all animals.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The proteolytic ferment found in the gastric juice.

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

  • n. an enzyme produced in the stomach that splits proteins into peptones

Etymologies

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

Greek pepsis, digestion (from peptein, to digest; see pekw- in Indo-European roots) + -in.

Examples

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