Dictionary.com

lecithin

[ les-uh-thin ]
/ ˈlɛs ə θɪn /
Save This Word!

noun
Biochemistry. any of a group of phospholipids, occurring in animal and plant tissues and egg yolk, composed of units of choline, phosphoric acid, fatty acids, and glycerol.
a commercial form of this substance, obtained chiefly from soybeans, corn, and egg yolk, used in foods, cosmetics, and inks.
QUIZ
CAN YOU ANSWER THESE COMMON GRAMMAR DEBATES?
There are grammar debates that never die; and the ones highlighted in the questions in this quiz are sure to rile everyone up once again. Do you know how to answer the questions that cause some of the greatest grammar debates?
Question 1 of 7
Which sentence is correct?

Origin of lecithin

1860–65; <Greek lékith(os) egg yolk + -in2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use lecithin in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for lecithin

lecithin
/ (ˈlɛsɪθɪn) /

noun
biochem any of a group of phospholipids that are found in many plant and animal tissues, esp egg yolk: used in making candles, cosmetics, and inks, and as an emulsifier and stabilizer in foods (E322)Systematic name: phosphatidylcholine

Word Origin for lecithin

C19: from Greek lekithos egg yolk
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

Scientific definitions for lecithin

lecithin
[ lĕsə-thĭn ]

A fatty substance present in most plant and animal tissues that is an important structural part of cell membranes, particularly in nervous tissue. It consists of a mixture of diglycerides of fatty acids (especially linoleic, palmitic, stearic, and oleic acid) linked to a phosphoric acid ester. Lecithin is used commercially in foods, cosmetics, paints, and plastics for its ability to form emulsions.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
FEEDBACK