noun Biochemistry, Chemistry.

a soluble, gummy substance, formed from starch by the action of heat, acids, or ferments, occurring in various forms and having dextrorotatory properties: used chiefly as a thickening agent in printing inks and food, as a mucilage, and as a substitute for gum arabic and other natural substances.

Also dex·trine [dek-strin, -streen] /ˈdɛk strɪn, -strin/.

Origin of dextrin

From the French word dextrine, dating back to 1825–35. See dextr-, -in2
Also called British gum. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dextrin

Historical Examples of dextrin

  • Starch is made from it both for the laundry and for the manufacture of farina, dextrin, etc.


    Benjamin Taylor

  • Dextrin, by the way, is the only paste which will not stain silk.

  • The starch has disappeared, and dextrin, a new substance, appears in its place.

    Encyclopedia of Diet

    Eugene Christian

  • I have already spoken of the formation of dextrin from starch.

    Encyclopedia of Diet

    Eugene Christian

  • Dextrin has no particular dietetic qualities that do not exist in starch.

    Encyclopedia of Diet

    Eugene Christian

British Dictionary definitions for dextrin


dextrine (ˈdɛkstrɪn, -triːn)


any of a group of sticky substances that are intermediate products in the conversion of starch to maltose: used as thickening agents in foods and as gums

Word Origin for dextrin

C19: from French dextrine; see dextro-, -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

dextrin in Medicine




Any of various soluble polysaccharides obtained from starch by the application of heat or acids and used mainly as adhesives and thickening agents.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.