chitin

[kahy-tin]
noun Biochemistry.
a nitrogen-containing polysaccharide, related chemically to cellulose, that forms a semitransparent horny substance and is a principal constituent of the exoskeleton, or outer covering, of insects, crustaceans, and arachnids.

Origin:
1830–40; < French chitine < Greek chit(ṓn) tunic, chiton + French -ine -in2

chitinous, chitinoid, adjective
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World English Dictionary
chitin (ˈkaɪtɪn)
 
n
a polysaccharide that is the principal component of the exoskeletons of arthropods and of the bodies of fungi
 
[C19: from French chitine, from Greek khitōnchiton + -in]
 
'chitinous
 
adj
 
'chitinoid
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

chitin
1836, from Fr. chitine, from Gk. khiton "frock, tunic."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

chitin chi·tin (kīt'n)
n.
A tough, protective, semitransparent polysaccharide forming the principal component of arthropod exoskeletons and the cell walls of certain fungi.


chi'tin·ous adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
chitin   (kīt'n)  Pronunciation Key 
A tough, semitransparent substance that is the main component of the exoskeletons of arthropods, such as the shells of crustaceans and the outer coverings of insects. Chitin is also found in the cell walls of certain fungi and algae. Chemically, it is a nitrogenous polysaccharide (a carbohydrate).
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences for chitin
Cellulose and chitin are examples of structural polysaccharides.
Chitin has also proven useful for several medical and industrial purposes.
In its unmodified form, chitin is translucent, pliable, resilient and quite tough.
Moreover, chitin has some unusual properties that accelerate healing of wounds in humans.
Image for chitin
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