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interferon

[in-ter-feer-on]
noun
  1. Biochemistry. any of various proteins, produced by virus-infected cells, that inhibit reproduction of the invading virus and induce resistance to further infection.
  2. Pharmacology. Also called alpha-interferon. an interferon produced by genetically engineered bacteria and harvested for use against hairy cell leukemia.
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Origin of interferon

First recorded in 1957; interfere + -on1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for interferon

interferon

noun
  1. biochem any of a family of proteins made by cells in response to virus infection that prevent the growth of the virus. Some interferons can prevent cell growth and have been tested for use in cancer therapy
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Word Origin for interferon

C20: from interfere + -on
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 interferon

n.

1957, coined in English, so called because it "interferes" with the reduplication of viruses. From interfere + subatomic particle suffix -on.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

interferon in Medicine

interferon

(ĭn′tər-fîrŏn′)
n.
  1. Any of a group of glycoproteins that are produced by different cell types in response to various stimuli, such as exposure to viruses, and that block viral replication in newly infected cells and, in some cases, modulate specific cellular functions.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

interferon in Science

interferon

[ĭn′tər-fîrŏn′]
  1. Any of a group of glycoproteins that are involved in blocking viral replication in newly infected cells and are cytokines that modulate the body's immune response. Alpha interferon is used a treatment for viral hepatitis and certain cancers, such as leukemia. Beta interferon is used as a treatment for some types of multiple sclerosis.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

interferon in Culture

interferon

[(in-tuhr-feer-on)]

A protein produced by cells after they have been exposed to a virus. Interferon prevents the virus from reproducing within the infected cells and can also induce resistance to the virus in other cells.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.