noun Biochemistry.
  1. a red crystalline substance, C40H56, that is the main pigment of certain fruits, as the tomato and paprika, and is a precursor to carotene in plant biosynthesis.

Origin of lycopene

1925–30; earlier lycop(in) (< New Latin Lycop(ersicon) tomato genus (< Greek lýk(os) wolf + -o- -o- + Persikón peach1) + -in2) + -ene Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for lycopene


  1. an acyclic carotenoid occuring in tomatoes and some other ripe fruit as a red pigment. As an antioxidant its consumption can reduce the risk of some cancers
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

lycopene in Medicine


  1. A red pigment found in blood, the reproductive organs, tomatoes, and palm oils and considered chemically to be the parent substance from which all natural carotenoid pigments are derived.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

lycopene in Science


  1. A red carotenoid found chiefly in blood, the reproductive organs, tomatoes, and palm oils. It is an antioxidant and is the parent substance from which all natural carotenoids are derived. Chemical formula: C40H56.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.