[ hap-ten ]
/ ˈhæp tɛn /

noun Immunology.

a substance having a single antigenic determinant that can react with a previously existing antibody but cannot stimulate more antibody production unless combined with other molecules; a partial antigen.
Also hap·tene [hap-teen] /ˈhæp tin/.

Origin of hapten

1920–25; < German < Greek hápt(ein) to grasp + German -en -ene
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for hapten


haptene (ˈhæptiːn)

/ (ˈhæptən) /


immunol an incomplete antigen that can stimulate antibody production only when it is chemically combined with a particular protein

Word Origin for hapten

C20: from German, from Greek haptein to fasten
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 hapten


[ hăptən ]


A substance that is capable of reacting with a specific antibody but cannot induce the formation of antibodies unless bound to a carrier protein or other molecule.incomplete antigen partial antigen
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.