[ hol-uh-krin, -krahyn, hoh-luh- ]
/ ˈhɒl ə krɪn, -ˌkraɪn, ˈhoʊ lə- /


(of a gland) releasing a secretion that is a product of disintegrating cells.
(of a secretion) released by such a gland.


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Origin of holocrine

1900–05; holo- + -crine < Greek krī́nein to separate
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for holocrine

/ (ˈhɒləkrɪn) /


(of the secretion of glands) characterized by disintegration of the entire glandular cell in releasing its product, as in sebaceous glandsCompare merocrine, apocrine

Word Origin for holocrine

C20: from holo- + Greek krinein to separate, decide
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

Medical definitions for holocrine

[ hŏlə-krĭn, -krīn′, -krēn′, hōlə- ]


Of or relating to a gland whose output consists of disintegrated secretory cells along with the secretory product itself.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.