- any of various proteins, as pepsin, originating from living cells and capable of producing certain chemical changes in organic substances by catalytic action, as in digestion.
Origin of enzyme
1880–85; < Medieval Greek énzymos leavened (Greek en- en-2 + zȳ́m(ē) leaven + -os adj. suffix)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for enzymes
Even the brief time spent chewing exposes foods to enzymes that begin to break it down.‘Rectal Feeding’ Has Nothing to Do with Nutrition, Everything to Do with Torture
December 10, 2014
Supporters of raw milk claim it provides good bacteria and enzymes.The Raw Milk Movement Is Gaining Traction, but the Dangers Far Outweigh Benefits
April 8, 2014
The stalks are then laid out to dry for a few days while the enzymes within the cane convert starches to sugar.Pancakes' New Topper
December 8, 2009
Harden, Arthur , The enzymes of washed zymin and dried yeast (Lebedeff).Alcoholic Fermentation
Production of enzymes as illustrated in the above activities.The Fundamentals of Bacteriology
Charles Bradfield Morrey
An intermedial product of the splitting of proteids by enzymes.Surgery, with Special Reference to Podiatry
We do not know much about enzymes themselves, but we can observe what they do.A Civic Biology
George William Hunter
We have plenty of enzymes and stuff for a guest, don't we, Miss Penelope?You Too Can Be A Millionaire
Noel Miller Loomis
- any of a group of complex proteins or conjugated proteins that are produced by living cells and act as catalysts in specific biochemical reactions
C19: from Medieval Greek enzumos leavened, from Greek en- ² + zumē leaven
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 enzymes
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- Any of numerous proteins or conjugated proteins produced by living organisms and functioning as specialized catalysts for biochemical reactions.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
- Any of numerous proteins produced in living cells that accelerate or catalyze the metabolic processes of an organism. Enzymes are usually very selective in the molecules that they act upon, called substrates, often reacting with only a single substrate. The substrate binds to the enzyme at a location called the active site just before the reaction catalyzed by the enzyme takes place. Enzymes can speed up chemical reactions by up to a millionfold, but only function within a narrow temperature and pH range, outside of which they can lose their structure and become denatured. Enzymes are involved in such processes as the breaking down of the large protein, starch, and fat molecules in food into smaller molecules during digestion, the joining together of nucleotides into strands of DNA, and the addition of a phosphate group to ADP to form ATP. The names of enzymes usually end in the suffix -ase.
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.