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[hap-ten] /ˈhæp tɛn/
noun, Immunology
a substance having a single antigenic determinant that can react with a previously existing antibody but cannot stimulate more antibody production unless combined with other molecules; a partial antigen.
Also, haptene
[hap-teen] /ˈhæp tin/ (Show IPA)
1920-25; < German < Greek hápt(ein) to grasp + German -en -ene Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for haptens


(immunol) an incomplete antigen that can stimulate antibody production only when it is chemically combined with a particular protein
Word Origin
C20: from German, from Greek haptein to fasten
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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haptens in Medicine

hapten hap·ten (hāp'tən)
A substance that is capable of reacting with a specific antibody but cannot induce the formation of antibodies unless bound to a carrier protein or other molecule. Also called incomplete antigen, partial antigen.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for haptens


small molecule that stimulates the production of antibody molecules only when conjugated to a larger molecule, called a carrier molecule.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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