chitin

[ kahy-tin ]
/ ˈkaɪ tɪn /

noun Biochemistry.

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

1830–40; < French chitine < Greek chit(ṓn) tunic, chiton + French -ine -in2

Related forms

chi·tin·ous, chi·tin·oid, adjective
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Examples from the Web for chitinous

British Dictionary definitions for chitinous

chitin

/ (ˈkaɪtɪn) /

noun

a polysaccharide that is the principal component of the exoskeletons of arthropods and of the bodies of fungi

Derived Forms

chitinous, adjectivechitinoid, adjective

Word Origin for chitin

C19: from French chitine, from Greek khitōn chiton + -in
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

Medicine definitions for chitinous

chitin

[ kītn ]

n.

A tough, protective, semitransparent polysaccharide forming the principal component of arthropod exoskeletons and the cell walls of certain fungi.

Related forms

chitin•ous adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for chitinous

chitin

[ kītn ]

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