• synonyms


noun Biochemistry.
  1. a pigment occurring in luminescent organisms, as fireflies, that emits light when undergoing oxidation.
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Origin of luciferin

1885–90; < Latin lūcifer (see Lucifer) + -in2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for luciferin

Historical Examples

  • Luciferin will also oxidize in the air spontaneously but no light is produced.

    The Nature of Animal Light

    E. Newton Harvey

British Dictionary definitions for luciferin


  1. biochem a substance occurring in bioluminescent organisms, such as glow-worms and fireflies. It undergoes an enzyme-catalysed oxidation and emits light on decaying to its ground state
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Word Origin

C20: from Latin lucifer (literally: light-bearer) + -in
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