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melanism

[ mel-uh-niz-uh m ]
/ ˈmɛl əˌnɪz əm /
|

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.

Nearby words

melanie, melaniferous, melanin, melanion, melanippus, melanism, melanite, melanitic, melano-, melanoameloblastoma, melanoblast

Origin of melanism

First recorded in 1835–45; melan- + -ism
Related formsmel·a·nis·tic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for melanism

  • Melanism: an abnormal or unusual darkening: a suffusion with blackish.

    Explanation of Terms Used in Entomology|John. B. Smith
  • Only one case of melanism was observed among all the specimens of both species examined.

  • Melanism is rather more common in the case of the male sex than in the female sex.

    The Butterfly Book|William Jacob Holland

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 Formsmelanistic, 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

Word Origin and History for melanism

melanism


n.

1843, from melano- + -ism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for melanism

melanism

[ mĕlə-nĭz′əm ]

n.

melanosis
Dark coloration of the skin, hair, fur, or feathers because of a high concentration of melanin.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science 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.