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[kol-uh-juh n] /ˈkɒl ə dʒən/
noun, Biochemistry
any of a class of extracellular proteins abundant in higher animals, especially in the skin, bone, cartilage, tendon, and teeth, forming strong insoluble fibers and serving as connective tissue between cells, yielding gelatin when denatured by boiling.
Origin of collagen
1860-65; < Greek kólla glue + -gen
Related forms
[kuh-laj-uh-nuh s] /kəˈlædʒ ə nəs/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for collagen
  • The collagen scaffolding is gradually reabsorbed into the body.
  • The tests suggested the presence of collagen and other proteins, including hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells.
  • Perhaps the sticky stuff is a primitive version of silk, or maybe it's a solution filled with collagen fibers.
  • collagen is the tough protein that helps build connective tissues such as tendons, bones, and ligaments.
  • Years of exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun have worn down the collagen that binds our skin cells together.
  • The secret lies in the collagen tissue of the tongue, which uncoils based on momentum, not muscle activity.
  • collagen implants and biologic fillers from animal, bacterial, or human sources may not provide long-lasting benefits.
  • What makes brisket a difficult meat to handle is its high collagen content.
  • The laser delivers enough heat to shorten collagen fibers, restoring some elasticity to the skin.
  • It reduces the signs of aging by stimulating collagen production.
British Dictionary definitions for collagen


a fibrous scleroprotein of connective tissue and bones that is rich in glycine and proline and yields gelatine on boiling
Derived Forms
collagenic (ˌkɒləˈdʒɛnɪk), collagenous (kəˈlædʒənəs) adjective
Word Origin
C19: from Greek kolla glue + -gen
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 collagen

structural protein of connective tissue, 1843, from French collagène, from Greek kolla "glue" + -gen "giving birth to" (see -gen).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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collagen in Medicine

collagen col·la·gen (kŏl'ə-jən)
The fibrous protein constituent of bone, cartilage, tendon, and other connective tissue that converts into gelatin by boiling.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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collagen in Science
Any of various tough, fibrous proteins found in bone, cartilage, skin, and other connective tissue. Collagens have great tensile strength, and provide these body structures with the ability to withstand forces that stretch them. Collagens consist of three polypeptide chains arranged in a triple helix, and are bundled together in fibers. When boiled in water, collagen is converted into gelatin.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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