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melanism

[ mel-uh-niz-uhm ]
/ ˈmɛl əˌnɪz əm /
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noun
Ethnology. the condition in human beings of having a high amount of melanin granules in the skin, hair, and eyes.
Zoology. the condition in which an unusually high concentration of melanin occurs in the skin, plumage, or pelage of an animal.
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Origin of melanism

First recorded in 1835–45; melan- + -ism

OTHER WORDS FROM melanism

mel·a·nis·tic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use melanism in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for melanism

melanism
/ (ˈmɛləˌnɪzəm) /

noun
the condition in man and animals of having dark-coloured or black skin, feathers, etc. Industrial melanism is the occurrence of dark varieties of animals, esp moths, in smoke-blackened industrial regions, in which they are well camouflaged
another name for melanosis

Derived forms of melanism

melanistic, adjective
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 melanism

melanism
[ mĕlə-nĭz′əm ]

Dark coloration of the skin, hair, fur, or feathers because of a high concentration of melanin.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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