[ kol-uh-juh n ]
/ ˈkɒl ə dʒən /

noun Biochemistry.

any of a class of extracellular proteins abundant in higher animals, especially in the skin, bone, cartilage, tendon, and teeth, forming strong insoluble fibers and serving as connective tissue between cells, yielding gelatin when denatured by boiling.

Nearby words

  1. collaboration,
  2. collaborationist,
  3. collaborative,
  4. collaborator,
  5. collage,
  6. collagen disease,
  7. collagen fiber,
  8. collagen injection,
  9. collagenase,
  10. collagenation

Origin of collagen

1860–65; < Greek kólla glue + -gen

Related formscol·lag·e·nous [kuh-laj-uh-nuh s] /kəˈlædʒ ə nəs/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for collagen

British Dictionary definitions for collagen


/ (ˈkɒlədʒən) /


a fibrous scleroprotein of connective tissue and bones that is rich in glycine and proline and yields gelatine on boiling
Derived Formscollagenic (ˌkɒləˈdʒɛnɪk) or collagenous (kəˈlædʒənəs), adjective

Word Origin for collagen

C19: from Greek kolla glue + -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 collagen



structural protein of connective tissue, 1843, from French collagène, from Greek kolla "glue" + -gen "giving birth to" (see -gen).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for collagen


[ kŏlə-jən ]


The fibrous protein constituent of bone, cartilage, tendon, and other connective tissue that converts into gelatin by boiling.

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

Science definitions for collagen


[ kŏlə-jən ]

Any of various tough, fibrous proteins found in bone, cartilage, skin, and other connective tissue. Collagens have great tensile strength, and provide these body structures with the ability to withstand forces that stretch them. Collagens consist of three polypeptide chains arranged in a triple helix, and are bundled together in fibers. When boiled in water, collagen is converted into gelatin.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.