[ sfing-guh-seen, -sin ]
/ ˈsfɪŋ gəˌsin, -sɪn /

noun Biochemistry.

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

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. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for sphingosine

/ (ˈsfɪŋɡəsɪn, -ˌsiːn) /


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

Medical definitions for sphingosine

[ sfĭnggə-sēn′ ]


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.