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amylase

[am-uh-leys, -leyz] /ˈæm əˌleɪs, -ˌleɪz/
noun, Biochemistry
1.
any of a widely distributed class of enzymes that catalyze the hydrolysis of starch, glycogen, and related polysaccharides to oligosaccharides, maltose, or glucose.
2.
any of several digestive enzymes that break down starches.
Origin
1890-1895
1890-95; amyl- + -ase
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for amylase
  • High-fructose corn syrup is corn syrup treated with amylase and other enzymes, which together help convert glucose into fructose.
  • Alpha-amylase, a key protein in saliva, would be effective at disintegrating carbohydrate clogs.
  • When the pancreas is diseased or inflamed, amylase releases into the blood.
British Dictionary definitions for amylase

amylase

/ˈæmɪˌleɪz/
noun
1.
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
n.

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')
n.
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
amylase
  (ām'ə-lās')   
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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Encyclopedia Article for amylase

any member of a class of enzymes that catalyze the hydrolysis (splitting of a compound by addition of a water molecule) of starch into smaller carbohydrate molecules such as maltose (a molecule composed of two glucose molecules). Two categories of amylases, denoted alpha and beta, differ in the way they attack the bonds of the starch molecules.

Learn more about amylase with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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