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[bil-uh-roo-bin, bil-uh-roo-bin] /ˈbɪl əˌru bɪn, ˌbɪl əˈru bɪn/
noun, Biochemistry
a reddish bile pigment, C 33 H 36 O 6 N 4 , resulting from the degradation of heme by reticuloendothelial cells in the liver: a high level in the blood produces the yellow skin symptomatic of jaundice.
Origin of bilirubin
< German Bilirubin (1864), equivalent to Latin bīli(s) bile + rub(er) red + German -in -in2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for bilirubin
  • Blue light is particularly good at helping the body break down bilirubin, which causes the condition.
  • bilirubin is a yellowish pigment found in bile, a fluid made by the liver.
  • bilirubin is a yellowish pigment found in bile, a fluid produced by the liver.
  • bilirubin is a yellow pigment that is created as the body gets rid of old red blood cells.
  • bilirubin levels increase after alkaline phosphatase rises.
  • The syndrome interferes with the body's ability to move bilirubin from the liver.
  • When red blood cells are broken down, they make bilirubin.
  • High levels of bilirubin cause jaundice, which gives the skin a yellowish tone.
  • bilirubin is a substance normally formed by the breakdown of hemoglobin in the blood.
  • Blood tests may show higher than normal levels of bilirubin and alkaline phosphatase.
British Dictionary definitions for bilirubin


/ˌbɪlɪˈruːbɪn; ˌbaɪ-/
an orange-yellow pigment in the bile formed as a breakdown product of haemoglobin. Excess amounts in the blood produce the yellow appearance associated with jaundice. Formula: C32H36O6N4
Word Origin
C19: from bile1 + Latin ruber red + -in
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 bilirubin

"reddish pigment found in bile," 1871, from German bilirubin (1864), from bili- (see bile) + Latin ruber "red" (see red (1)) + -ine (2).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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bilirubin in Medicine

bilirubin bil·i·ru·bin (bĭl'ĭ-rōō'bĭn, bĭl'ĭ-rōō'-)
A red bile pigment derived from the degradation of hemoglobin during the normal and abnormal destruction of red blood cells.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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bilirubin in Science
A reddish-yellow pigment that is a constituent of bile and gives it its color. Bilirubin is a porphyrin derived from the degradation of heme. It is often a constituent of gallstones, and also causes the skin discoloration seen in jaundice. Chemical formula: C33H36N4O6.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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