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[am-uh-leys, -leyz] /ˈæm əˌleɪs, -ˌleɪz/
noun, Biochemistry.
any of a widely distributed class of enzymes that catalyze the hydrolysis of starch, glycogen, and related polysaccharides to oligosaccharides, maltose, or glucose.
any of several digestive enzymes that break down starches.
Origin of amylase
1890-95; amyl- + -ase Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for amylase


any of several enzymes that hydrolyse starch and glycogen to simple sugars, such as glucose. They are present in saliva
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
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Word Origin and History for amylase

enzyme which brings about the hydrolysis of starch, 1893, from amyl + chemical suffix -ase.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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amylase in Medicine

amylase am·y·lase (ām'ə-lās', -lāz')
Any of a group of enzymes that catalyze the hydrolysis of starch to sugar to produce carbohydrate derivatives.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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amylase in Science
Any of various enzymes that cause starches to break down into smaller sugars, especially maltose, by hydrolysis. There are two types of amylases, alpha-amylases and beta-amylases. In humans, an alpha-amylase known as ptyalin is present in saliva and is also produced by the pancreas for secretion into the small intestine. Beta-amylases are found in bacteria, molds, yeasts, and the seeds of plants.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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