• synonyms


noun Biochemistry.
  1. an anterior pituitary polypeptide hormone that stimulates lactation by the mammary glands at parturition in mammals, the activity of the crop in birds, and in some mammalian species the production of progesterone by the corpus luteum.
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Origin of prolactin

First recorded in 1930–35; pro-1 + lact- + -in2
Also called anterior pituitary hormone, lactogenic hormone, luteotropin.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for prolactin


  1. a gonadotrophic hormone secreted by the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland. In mammals it stimulates the secretion of progesterone by the corpus luteum and initiates and maintains lactationAlso called: luteotrophin, luteotrophic hormone See also follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone
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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 prolactin


1932, from pro- + stem of lactation + chemical suffix -in (2).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

prolactin in Medicine


  1. A pituitary hormone that stimulates and maintains the secretion of milk.lactogenic hormone lactotropin luteotropic hormone luteotropin
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

prolactin in Science


  1. A protein hormone secreted by the anterior portion of the pituitary gland that stimulates and maintains the secretion of milk in mammals.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.