[sfing-guh-seen, -sin]

noun Biochemistry.

a basic unsaturated amino alcohol, C18H33(OH)2NH2, produced by the hydrolysis of sphingomyelin or gangliosides.

Nearby words

  1. sphingolipid,
  2. sphingolipidosis,
  3. sphingomyelin,
  4. sphingomyelin lipidosis,
  5. sphingomyelin phosphodiesterase,
  6. sphinx,
  7. sphinx moth,
  8. sphinxlike,
  9. sphragistic,
  10. sphragistics

Origin of sphingosine

1881; earlier sphingosin, equivalent to sphingo-, combining form representing Greek sphínx sphinx + intrusive -s- + -in2; so called in allusion to the enigmas it posed for its discoverer

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for sphingosine



biochem a long-chain compound occurring in sphingomyelins and cerebrosides, and from which it can be released by hydrolysis. Formula: CH 3 (CH 2) 12 CH:CHCH(OH)CH(NH 2)CH 2 OH

Word Origin for sphingosine

from sphingos-, from Greek sphingein to hold fast + -ine ²

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

Medicine definitions for sphingosine




A basic, long-chain, unsaturated amino alcohol, found combined with lipids in the brain and in nerve tissue.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.