• synonyms


[an-ti-juh n, -jen]
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  1. Immunology. any substance that can stimulate the production of antibodies and combine specifically with them.
  2. Pharmacology. any commercial substance that, when injected or absorbed into animal tissues, stimulates the production of antibodies.
  3. antigens of a particular type collectively.
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Origin of antigen

First recorded in 1905–10; anti(body) + -gen
Related formsan·ti·gen·ic [an-ti-jen-ik] /ˌæn tɪˈdʒɛn ɪk/, adjectivean·ti·gen·i·cal·ly, adverban·ti·ge·nic·i·ty [an-ti-juh-nis-i-tee] /ˌæn tɪ dʒəˈnɪs ɪ ti/, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for antigen

antibody, dander, irritant, pollen, antigen, ragweed, antiserum, agglutinin, agglutinogen, vaccine, Rh-negative, Rh-positive, immunizer, immunotoxin

Examples from the Web for antigen

Contemporary Examples of antigen

Historical Examples of antigen

British Dictionary definitions for antigen


  1. a substance that stimulates the production of antibodies
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Derived Formsantigenic, adjectiveantigenically, adverb

Word Origin for antigen

C20: from anti (body) + -gen
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 antigen


"substance that causes production of an antibody," 1908, from German Antigen, from French antigène (1899), from anti- (see anti-) + Greek -gen (see -gen).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

antigen in Medicine


  1. Any of various substances, including toxins, bacteria, and the cells of transplanted organs, that when introduced into the body stimulate the production of antibodies.allergen immunogen
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Related formsan′ti•genic (-jĕnĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

antigen in Science


  1. A substance that stimulates the production of an antibody when introduced into the body. Antigens include toxins, bacteria, viruses, and other foreign substances. Compare antibody. See Note at blood type.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.