• synonyms


  1. Botany. an organic substance that, with cellulose, forms the chief part of woody tissue.
  2. Papermaking. impure matter found in wood pulp.
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Origin of lignin

First recorded in 1815–25; lign- + -in2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for lignin

Historical Examples of lignin

British Dictionary definitions for lignin


  1. a complex polymer occurring in certain plant cell walls making the plant rigid
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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 lignin


1822, from Latin lignum "wood" (see ligni-) + chemical suffix -in (2).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

lignin in Science


  1. A complex organic compound that binds to cellulose fibers and hardens and strengthens the cell walls of plants. Lignin is a polymer consisting of various aromatic alcohols, and is the chief noncarbohydrate constituent of wood.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.