• synonyms


noun Biochemistry, Chemistry.
  1. 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.
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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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for dextrine

Historical Examples

  • They are often still further cheapened by being adulterated with salt, dextrine and the like.

    Philippine Mats

    Hugo H. Miller

  • Our ex-grocer knew all about Hambletonian Ten and Dexter; but dextrine, dextrose and glucose were out of his class.

  • Dextrine is used in calico printing for thickening colours; for the preparation of gums, and for stiffening cloth.

  • Nitre stars may be damped with gum water, dextrine solution, or thin starch.

  • Dextrine, wetted to the consistency of honey, may be used instead of thick gum-arabic water, for pasting.

British Dictionary definitions for dextrine


dextrine (ˈdɛkstrɪn, -triːn)

  1. 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
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Word Origin

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

dextrine in Medicine


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