- any of a class of insoluble pigments, found in all forms of animal life, that account for the dark color of skin, hair, fur, scales, feathers, etc.
Origin of melanin
Examples from the Web for melanin
But the world wants to define me by my mammary glands and melanin.There Is an Audience for Our Films: Four African-American Female Filmmakers Speak Out
December 4, 2012
Hence the hair grown from a follicle under such conditions lacks pigment (melanin) and is white.American Weasels
E. Raymond Hall
As the parasite feeds and grows there is deposited within its body a blackish or brownish pigment known as melanin.Insects and Diseases
Rennie W. Doane
The colour varies from brown to black, according to the amount of melanin pigment present.Manual of Surgery
Alexis Thomson and Alexander Miles
These are generally called melanin granules, but are much better referred to as hmozoin, as they are not related to melanin.Handbook of Medical Entomology
William Albert Riley
The melanotic cancer contains abundant pigment, melanin, within its cells.
- any of a group of black or dark brown pigments present in the hair, skin, and eyes of man and animals: produced in excess in certain skin diseases and in melanomas
Word Origin and History for melanin
dark brown or black pigment found in animal bodies, 1832, Modern Latin, with chemical suffix -in (2); first element from Greek melas (genitive melanos) "black," from PIE root *mel- "dark, soiled, dirty" (cf. Sanskrit malinah "dirty, stained, black," Lithuanian melynas "blue," Latin mulleus "reddish"). Related: Melanism; melanistic.
- Any of a group of naturally occurring dark pigments composed of granules of highly irregular polymers that usually contain nitrogen or sulfur atoms, especially the pigment found in skin, hair, fur, and feathers.
- Any of various pigments that are responsible for the dark color of the skin, hair, scales, feathers, and eyes of animals and are also found in plants, fungi, and bacteria. Melanins are polymers, often bound to proteins, and in the animal kingdom are built from compounds produced by the oxidation of the amino acid tyrosine.