• synonyms


[puh-pey-in, -pahy-in]
  1. Biochemistry. a proteolytic enzyme found in the fruit of the papaya tree, Carica papaya.
  2. Pharmacology. a commercial preparation of this used as a meat tenderizer and in medicine as a digestant.
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Origin of papain

First recorded in 1885–90; papa(ya) + -in2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for papain

Historical Examples of papain

  • Its selling point, in the past at least, has been the alleged presence of papain.

    The Propaganda for Reform in Proprietary Medicines, Vol. 1 of 2


  • Several writers claim good results with glycerole of papain, pricking it in in the same manner as in tattooing.

    Essentials of Diseases of the Skin

    Henry Weightman Stelwagon

British Dictionary definitions for papain


  1. a proteolytic enzyme occurring in the unripe fruit of the papaya tree, Carica papaya: used as a meat tenderizer and in medicine as an aid to protein digestion
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Word Origin for papain

C19: from papaya
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

papain in Medicine


(pə-pāĭn, -pīĭn)
  1. An enzyme, or a crude extract containing it, that digests protein, catalyzes the hydrolysis or transfer of esters, amides, or other chemical groups containing sulfur, and is used as a digestive aid.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.