- a nitrogen-containing polysaccharide, related chemically to cellulose, that forms a semitransparent horny substance and is a principal constituent of the exoskeleton, or outer covering, of insects, crustaceans, and arachnids.
Origin of chitin
Examples from the Web for chitin
Historical Examples of chitin
Platelet: a little plate or sclerite of chitin in a membrane.
Chitinization: the process of depositing or filling with chitin.
Yes, May, this little cast is made of chitin, and it will last a long time.
If you had no bones, you would be glad to have your skin hardened with chitin.
Chitin, kī′tin, n. the substance which forms most of the hard parts of jointed footed animals.
- a polysaccharide that is the principal component of the exoskeletons of arthropods and of the bodies of fungi
Word Origin for chitin
1836, from French chitine, from Greek khiton "frock, tunic," of soldiers, "coat of mail," used metaphorically for "any coat or covering." "Probably an Oriental word" [Liddell & Scott]. Klein compares Hebrew kuttoneth, Aramaic kittana, Arabic kattan "linen."
- A tough, protective, semitransparent polysaccharide forming the principal component of arthropod exoskeletons and the cell walls of certain fungi.
- A tough, semitransparent substance that is the main component of the exoskeletons of arthropods, such as the shells of crustaceans and the outer coverings of insects. Chitin is also found in the cell walls of certain fungi and algae. Chemically, it is a nitrogenous polysaccharide (a carbohydrate).