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melanism

[mel-uh-niz-uh m]
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noun
  1. Ethnology. the condition in human beings of having a high amount of melanin granules in the skin, hair, and eyes.
  2. Zoology. the condition in which an unusually high concentration of melanin occurs in the skin, plumage, or pelage of an animal.
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Origin of melanism

First recorded in 1835–45; melan- + -ism
Related formsmel·a·nis·tic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for melanism

Historical Examples

  • Melanism: an abnormal or unusual darkening: a suffusion with blackish.

    Explanation of Terms Used in Entomology

    John. B. Smith

  • Only one case of melanism was observed among all the specimens of both species examined.

  • On the other hand, melanism, or a tendency to the production of dark or even black forms, reveals itself.

    The Butterfly Book

    William Jacob Holland

  • Melanism is rather more common in the case of the male sex than in the female sex.

    The Butterfly Book

    William Jacob Holland


British Dictionary definitions for melanism

melanism

noun
  1. the condition in man and animals of having dark-coloured or black skin, feathers, etc. Industrial melanism is the occurrence of dark varieties of animals, esp moths, in smoke-blackened industrial regions, in which they are well camouflaged
  2. another name for melanosis
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Derived Formsmelanistic, adjective
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 melanism

n.

1843, from melano- + -ism.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

melanism in Medicine

melanism

(mĕlə-nĭz′əm)
n.
  1. melanosis
  2. Dark coloration of the skin, hair, fur, or feathers because of a high concentration of melanin.

melanism in Science

melanism

[mĕlə-nĭz′əm]