9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[in-ter-feer-on] /ˌɪn tərˈfɪər ɒn/
Biochemistry. any of various proteins, produced by virus-infected cells, that inhibit reproduction of the invading virus and induce resistance to further infection.
Pharmacology. Also called alpha-interferon. an interferon produced by genetically engineered bacteria and harvested for use against hairy cell leukemia.
Origin of interferon
1957; interfere + -on1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for interferon
  • The standard treatments for this rare disease--chemotherapy and interferon--are pretty tough on the body.
  • After surgery, you may receive a medicine called interferon.
  • interferon-gamma may also be helpful in reducing the number of severe infections.
  • People with such symptoms may have particular difficulties with interferon, which can have similar side effects.
  • It also includes chemicals and proteins in the blood, such as complement proteins and interferon.
British Dictionary definitions for interferon


(biochem) any of a family of proteins made by cells in response to virus infection that prevent the growth of the virus. Some interferons can prevent cell growth and have been tested for use in cancer therapy
Word Origin
C20: from interfere + -on
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 interferon

1957, coined in English, so called because it "interferes" with the reduplication of viruses. From interfere + subatomic particle suffix -on.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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interferon in Medicine

interferon in·ter·fer·on (ĭn'tər-fēr'ŏn')
Abbr. IFN
Any of a group of glycoproteins that are produced by different cell types in response to various stimuli, such as exposure to viruses, and that block viral replication in newly infected cells and, in some cases, modulate specific cellular functions.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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interferon in Science
Any of a group of glycoproteins that are involved in blocking viral replication in newly infected cells and are cytokines that modulate the body's immune response. Alpha interferon is used a treatment for viral hepatitis and certain cancers, such as leukemia. Beta interferon is used as a treatment for some types of multiple sclerosis.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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interferon in Culture
interferon [(in-tuhr-feer-on)]

A protein produced by cells after they have been exposed to a virus. Interferon prevents the virus from reproducing within the infected cells and can also induce resistance to the virus in other cells.

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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