from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A chemical substance present in the cells of bioluminescent organisms, such as fireflies, that produces an almost heatless, bluish-green light when oxidized under the catalytic effects of luciferase and ATP.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Any of a class of polycyclic heterocycles that are responsible for the bioluminescence of fireflies, being converted to oxyluciferin by luciferase in the process.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. any of several substances found in luminescent organisms (such as the firefly, Photinus pyralis) which, when oxidized, produces an almost heatless light. It was first isolated from fireflies, and is the source of the firefly luminescence. See also firefly luciferin
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. pigment occurring in luminescent organisms (as fireflies); emits heatless light when undergoing oxidation
Latin lūcifer, light-bringing; see Lucifer + -in.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)