from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A tough, insoluble protein substance that is the chief structural constituent of hair, nails, horns, and hooves.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A protein which hair and nails are comprised of.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A sulfur-containing fibrous protein constituting the main structural protein of hard epidermal tissues, such as horn, hair, feathers, nails, claws, hoofs, and the like. It is an insoluble substance, and, unlike elastin, is not dissolved even by gastric or pancreatic juice. By decomposition with sulphuric acid it yields leucine and tyrosine plus various other acid-stable amino acids. The amino acid composition varies, but it usually has a high percentage of cystine, which stabilizes and insolubilizes the protein by forming intrachain linkages. A softer form of keratin is present in the epidermis and whalebone. Called also epidermose.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Same as ceratin.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a fibrous scleroprotein that occurs in the outer layer of the skin and in horny tissues such as hair, feathers, nails, and hooves
Greek keras, kerāt-, horn + -in.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)