[ al-fuh-fee-toh-proh-teen, -tee-in ]

  1. a serum protein produced during pregnancy, useful in the prenatal diagnosis of multiple births or birth defects. Abbreviation: AFP

Origin of alpha-fetoprotein

First recorded in 1970–75; alpha + fet(us) + -o- + protein

Words Nearby alpha-fetoprotein Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

British Dictionary definitions for alpha-fetoprotein


/ (ˌælfəˌfiːtəʊˈprəʊtiːn) /

  1. a protein that forms in the liver of the human fetus. Excessive quantities in the amniotic fluid and maternal blood may indicate spina bifida in the fetus; low levels may point to Down's syndrome: Abbreviation: afp

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

Scientific definitions for alpha-fetoprotein


[ ăl′fə-fē′tō-prōtēn ]

  1. An antigen produced in the liver of a fetus that can appear in certain diseases of adults, such as liver cancer. Its level in amniotic fluid can be used in the detection of certain fetal abnormalities, including Down syndrome and spina bifida.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.