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[glahy-kuh-juh n, -jen] /ˈglaɪ kə dʒən, -ˌdʒɛn/
noun, Biochemistry
a white, tasteless polysaccharide, (C 6 H 10 O 5) n , molecularly similar to starch, constituting the principal carbohydrate storage material in animals and occurring chiefly in the liver, in muscle, and in fungi and yeasts.
Also called animal starch.
Origin of glycogen
1855-60; glyco- + -gen Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for glycogen
  • glycogen turns out to be a crucial piece of the metabolic switch.
  • Training, diet, race pace and genetics all play a role in glycogen depletion.
  • The manipulation of diet and exercise, which was shown to drive up glycogen levels in the muscles, took its toll on athletes.
  • The understanding now is that muscle cells convert glucose or glycogen to lactic acid.
  • The body stores carbohydrates in the form of glycogen.
  • Any unused glucose is stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen for use later.
  • The buildup of glycogen remnants destroys the muscle and liver cells where it's stored.
  • After the animal is killed, glycogen falls apart into glucose.
  • Diabetics traveling through several time zones may need to carry injectable glycogen or dextrose.
  • Low-carb diets may reduce muscle glycogen stores and reduce exercise intensity.
British Dictionary definitions for glycogen


/ˈɡlaɪkəʊdʒən; -dʒɛn/
a polysaccharide consisting of glucose units: the form in which carbohydrate is stored in the liver and muscles in man and animals. It can easily be hydrolysed to glucose Also called animal starch
Derived Forms
glycogenic (ˌɡlaɪkəʊˈdʒɛnɪk) adjective
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 glycogen

starch-like substance found in the liver and animal tissue, 1860, from French glycogène, "sugar-producer," from Greek glykys "sweet" (see glucose) + French -gène (see -gen). Coined in 1848 by French physiologist Claude Bernard (1813-1878).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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glycogen in Medicine

glycogen gly·co·gen (glī'kə-jən)
A polysaccharide that is the main form of carbohydrate storage in animals and occurs mainly in liver and muscle tissue; it is readily converted to glucose. Also called animal starch.

gly'co·gen'ic (-jěn'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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glycogen in Science
A polysaccharide stored in animal liver and muscle cells that is easily converted to glucose to meet metabolic energy requirements. Most of the carbohydrate energy stored in animal cells is in the form of glycogen.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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