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hemoglobin

[hee-muh-gloh-bin, hem-uh-] /ˈhi məˌgloʊ bɪn, ˈhɛm ə-/
noun, Biochemistry
1.
the oxygen-carrying pigment of red blood cells that gives them their red color and serves to convey oxygen to the tissues: occurs in reduced form (deoxyhemoglobin) in venous blood and in combination with oxygen (oxyhemoglobin) in arterial blood. Symbol: Hb.
Compare heme.
Origin
1865-1870
1865-70; earlier hematoglobulin. See hemo-, globulin
Related forms
hemoglobic, hemoglobinous, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for hemoglobin
  • hemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen.
  • hemoglobin is the protein in red blood cells that ferries oxygen through the blood system.
  • hemoglobin is the protein in red blood cells that delivers oxygen to your tissues.
  • hemoglobin is a wonderful, elegant transporter of oxygen.
  • hemoglobin is the iron-bearing and oxygen-carrying component of red blood cells.
  • The blood's blue color comes from copper in its oxygen-carrying protein, hemocyanin- akin to the iron-based hemoglobin in humans.
  • It is thought that the drug's beneficial effects stem from its ability to stimulate the production of so-called fetal hemoglobin.
  • Meanwhile, the water keeps the blood wet and cold, preventing the hemoglobin from binding tightly with the fabric.
  • Hemocyanin is more efficient than hemoglobin at storing oxygen in deep, cold waters.
  • hemoglobin is the substance in blood that produces red blood cells.
British Dictionary definitions for hemoglobin

haemoglobin

/ˌhiːməʊˈɡləʊbɪn; ˌhɛm-/
noun
1.
a conjugated protein, consisting of haem and the protein globin, that gives red blood cells their characteristic colour. It combines reversibly with oxygen and is thus very important in the transportation of oxygen to tissues See also oxyhaemoglobin
Word Origin
C19: shortened from haematoglobulin, from haematin + globulin the two components
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 hemoglobin
n.

coloring matter in red blood stones, 1862, shortening of hæmatoglobin (1845), from Greek haimato-, comb. form of haima (genitive haimatos) "blood" (see -emia) + globulin, a type of simple protein, from globule, formerly a word for "corpuscle of blood."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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hemoglobin in Medicine

hemoglobin he·mo·glo·bin (hē'mə-glō'bĭn)
n.
Abbr. Hb
The red respiratory protein of red blood cells that transports oxygen as oxyhemoglobin from the lungs to the tissues, where the oxygen is readily released and the oxyhemoglobin becomes hemoglobin.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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hemoglobin in Science
hemoglobin
  (hē'mə-glō'bĭn)   
An iron-containing protein present in the blood of many animals that, in vertebrates, carries oxygen from the lungs to the tissues of the body and carries carbon dioxide from the tissues to the lungs. Hemoglobin is contained in the red blood cells of vertebrates and gives these cells their characteristic color. Hemoglobin is also found in many invertebrates, where it circulates freely in the blood. It consists of four peptide units, each attached to a nonprotein compound called heme that binds to oxygen. See Note at red blood cell.

Our Living Language  : Ninety percent of the protein in red blood cells is made up of hemoglobin, the main oxygen transport molecule in mammals. A protein with four iron-containing subunits called hemes, hemoglobin is a complex molecule with a complex function. It must bind to oxygen in the lungs, then release that oxygen in the tissues, then bind to carbon dioxide in the tissues and release it in the lungs. Hemoglobin accomplishes oxygen transport by changing its structure, and even its substructures, around the oxygen-binding heme groups, making them more or less accessible to the environment. When oxygen binds to at least one of the heme groups (as happens in the oxygen-rich lungs), all of the heme groups become exposed to the environment and bind oxygen easily. The bond between oxygen and heme is a loose one, however, so that the oxygen can break free in the tissues, where the concentration of oxygen is relatively low, and thereby become available for use in the cells. When the last of the four heme subunits loses its oxygen, the structure of hemoglobin changes again, so that the size of the opening from the environment to the heme groups decreases, making it difficult for an oxygen molecule to rebind to the hemoglobin. In this way, hemoglobin stops itself from competing with the tissues for needed oxygen. When the red blood cell carrying hemoglobin returns to the lungs, where oxygen concentration is high, the cycle of oxygen binding, transport, and release starts again. Normally, iron binds with oxygen to form rust (iron oxide), but the structure of hemoglobin prevents this from happening, since it would inactivate the heme subunits. Carbon dioxide does not bind the heme in hemoglobin, but rather the amino groups at the ends of the hemoglobin's protein subunits. Hemoglobin transport is only one of a number of bodily mechanisms by which carbon dioxide travels from the tissues to the lungs for release to the air.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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hemoglobin in Culture
hemoglobin [(hee-muh-gloh-bin)]

A complex organic molecule containing iron that carries oxygen in the blood.

Note: Hemoglobin gives blood its characteristic red color.
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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