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See more synonyms for pectin on Thesaurus.com
noun Biochemistry.
  1. a white, amorphous, colloidal carbohydrate of high molecular weight occurring in ripe fruits, especially in apples, currants, etc., and used in fruit jellies, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics for its thickening and emulsifying properties and its ability to solidify to a gel.
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Origin of pectin

1830–40; < Greek pēkt(ós) fixed, congealed (see pectic) + -in2
Related formspec·ti·na·ceous [pek-tuh-ney-shuh s] /ˌpɛk təˈneɪ ʃəs/, pec·tin·ous, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for pectin

Historical Examples

  • This 'pectin' is therefore a form of soluble lignocellulose.

    Researches on Cellulose

    C. F. Cross

  • Pectose is a modification of pectin; it is insoluble in water.

    The Stock-Feeder's Manual

    Charles Alexander Cameron

  • The first pectin test should be saved for comparison with the others.

  • If available, a mixture of kaolin and pectin should be given for diarrhea.

    In Time Of Emergency

    Department of Defense

  • If the pectin collects in two or three masses, use 2/3 to ¾ as much sugar as juice.

British Dictionary definitions for pectin


  1. biochem any of the acidic hemicelluloses that occur in ripe fruit and vegetables: used in the manufacture of jams because of their ability to solidify to a gel when heated in a sugar solution (may be referred to on food labels as E440 (a))
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Derived Formspectic or pectinous, adjective

Word Origin

C19: from Greek pēktos congealed, from pegnuein to set
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 pectin


polysaccharide found in fruit and vegetables, crucial in forming jellies and jams, 1838, from French pectine, coined early 1830s by French chemist Henri Braconnot (1781-1855) from acide pectique "pectic acid," a constituent of fruit jellies, from Greek pektikos "curdling, congealing," from pektos "curdled, congealed," from pegnynai "to make stiff or solid," from PIE root *pag-/*pak- "to join together" (see pact). Related: Pectic.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

pectin in Medicine


  1. Any of a group of water-soluble colloidal carbohydrates of high molecular weight found in ripe fruits, such as apples, plums, and grapefruit, and used to jell various foods, drugs, and cosmetics.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

pectin in Science


  1. Any of a group of carbohydrate substances found in the cell walls of plants and in the tissue between certain plant cells. Pectin is produced by the ripening of fruit and helps the ripe fruit remain firm. As the fruit overripens, the pectin breaks down into simple sugars (monosaccharides) and the fruit loses its shape and becomes soft. Pectins can be made to form gels, and are used in certain medicines and cosmetics and in making jellies.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.