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enzyme

[en-zahym] /ˈɛn zaɪm/
noun, Biochemistry
1.
any of various proteins, as pepsin, originating from living cells and capable of producing certain chemical changes in organic substances by catalytic action, as in digestion.
Compare -ase.
Origin
1880-1885
1880-85; < Medieval Greek énzymos leavened (Greek en- en-2 + zȳ́m(ē) leaven + -os adj. suffix)
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for enzymes
  • If the liver appears normal and the liver enzymes are normal, then the disease is inactive, and there's no reason to treat.
  • Chucking those enzymes into the mixture should make a significant difference.
  • Those enzymes work with microorganisms in the bug's gut.
  • Complicated chemicals are created from simple building blocks by a series of enzymes.
  • He was scheduled for an annual checkup the next day, and he learned from a blood test that his liver enzymes were elevated.
  • Second, some bacteria produce enzymes that can destroy antibiotics before they can work.
  • The reddish leaves curl into tubes that lure insects that fall into digestive enzymes in the bottom, feeding the plant.
  • The new drugs work by stimulating enzymes that regulate the function of mitochondria.
  • Other types of artificial livers filter the blood with chemicals, enzymes or charcoal.
  • Bacteria do not make restriction enzymes out of the goodness of their hearts, nor to help catch criminals, of course.
British Dictionary definitions for enzymes

enzyme

/ˈɛnzaɪm/
noun
1.
any of a group of complex proteins or conjugated proteins that are produced by living cells and act as catalysts in specific biochemical reactions
Derived Forms
enzymatic (ˌɛnzaɪˈmætɪk; -zɪ-), enzymic (ɛnˈzaɪmɪk; -ˈzɪm-) adjective
Word Origin
C19: from Medieval Greek enzumos leavened, from Greek en-² + zumē leaven
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 enzymes

enzyme

n.

1881, as a biochemical term, from German Enzym, coined 1878 by German physiologist Wilhelm Kühne (1837-1900), from Modern Greek enzymos "leavened," from en "in" (see en- (2)) + zyme "leaven" (see zymurgy).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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enzymes in Medicine

enzyme en·zyme (ěn'zīm)
n.
Any of numerous proteins or conjugated proteins produced by living organisms and functioning as specialized catalysts for biochemical reactions.


en'zy·mat'ic (-zə-māt'ĭk) 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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enzymes in Science
enzyme
  (ěn'zīm)   

Any of numerous proteins produced in living cells that accelerate or catalyze the metabolic processes of an organism. Enzymes are usually very selective in the molecules that they act upon, called substrates, often reacting with only a single substrate. The substrate binds to the enzyme at a location called the active site just before the reaction catalyzed by the enzyme takes place. Enzymes can speed up chemical reactions by up to a millionfold, but only function within a narrow temperature and pH range, outside of which they can lose their structure and become denatured. Enzymes are involved in such processes as the breaking down of the large protein, starch, and fat molecules in food into smaller molecules during digestion, the joining together of nucleotides into strands of DNA, and the addition of a phosphate group to ADP to form ATP. The names of enzymes usually end in the suffix -ase.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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enzymes in Culture
enzyme [(en-zeyem)]

A protein molecule that helps other organic molecules enter into chemical reactions with one another but is itself unaffected by these reactions. In other words, enzymes act as catalysts for organic biochemical reactions.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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