- the green coloring matter of leaves and plants, essential to the production of carbohydrates by photosynthesis, and occurring in a bluish-black form, C55H72MgN4O5 (chlorophyll a), and a dark-green form, C55H70MgN4O6 (chlorophyll b).
Origin of chlorophyll
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for chlorophyll
When the stalk is dried out, it is crushed to extract its green juice (the liquid is green because of chlorophyll in the plant).Pancakes' New Topper
December 8, 2009
The explanation is, of course, that chlorophyll is soluble in alcohol.The Sea Shore
William S. Furneaux
It is after the chlorophyll is withdrawn that the layer of cork is formed.
The formation of the chlorophyll is obstructed, or takes place too slowly.Everyday Objects
W. H. Davenport Adams
Growth in darkness is attended by the non-formation of chlorophyll.
These plants contain no chlorophyll and hence do not make their own food.A Civic Biology
George William Hunter
- the green pigment of plants and photosynthetic algae and bacteria that traps the energy of sunlight for photosynthesis and exists in several forms, the most abundant being chlorophyll a (C 55 H 72 O 5 N 4 Mg): used as a colouring agent in medicines or food (E140)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for chlorophyll
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- Any of a group of related green pigments found in photosynthetic cells that converts light energy into ATP and other forms of energy needed for biochemical processes; it is found in green plants, brown and red algae, and certain aerobic and anaerobic bacteria.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
- Any of several green pigments found in photosynthetic organisms, such as plants, algae, and cyanobacteria. At its molecular core, chlorophyll has a porphyrin structure but contains a magnesium atom at its center and a long carbon side chain. Chlorophyll absorbs red and blue wavelengths of light, but reflects green. When it absorbs light energy, a chlorophyll molecule enters a higher energy state in which it easily gives up an electron to the first available electron-accepting molecule nearby. This electron moves through a chain of acceptors and is ultimately used in the synthesis of ATP, which provides chemical energy for plant metabolism. Plants rely on two forms of chlorophyll, chlorophyll a (C66H72MgN4O5) and chlorophyll b (C66H70MgN4O6), which have slightly different light absorbing properties. All plants, algae, and cyanobacteria have chlorophyll a, since only this compound can pass an electron to acceptors in oxygen-producing photosynthetic reactions. Chlorophyll b absorbs light energy that is then transferred to chlorophyll a. Several protist groups such as brown algae and diatoms lack chlorophyll b but have another pigment, chlorophyll c, instead. Other closely related pigments are used by various bacteria in photosynthetic reactions that do not produce oxygen. See more at photosynthesis.
Word History: From its name, one might think that chlorophyll has chlorine in it, but it doesn't. The chloro- of chlorophyll comes from the Greek word for green; chlorophyll in fact is the chemical compound that gives green plants their characteristic color. The name of the chemical element chlorine comes from the same root as the prefix chloro-, and is so called because it is a greenish-colored gas.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.