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[lak-tohs] /ˈlæk toʊs/
Biochemistry. a disaccharide, C 12 H 22 O 11 , present in milk, that upon hydrolysis yields glucose and galactose.
a white, crystalline, sweet, water-soluble commercial form of this compound, obtained from whey and used in infant feedings, in confections and other foods, in bacteriological media, and in pharmacology as a diluent and excipient.
Also called milk sugar, sugar of milk.
Origin of lactose
1855-60; lact- + -ose2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for lactose
  • Coconut milk can also serve as the base of non-dairy ice creams for those lactose intolerant ice cream lovers.
  • lactose is extracted by removing proteins and then dissolved to form glucose and galactose.
  • Also, the two definitive bacteria in yogurt eat lactose as they ferment milk, making yogurt a safe bet for the lactose-intolerant.
  • The researchers isolated the arsenic-switch gene and attached it to the first gene involved in the breakdown of lactose.
  • The tang is the lactic acid that's been formed by the breakdown of the milk sugar, lactose.
  • lactose-free and gluten-free meals are available to those with an intolerance for dairy or wheat, respectively.
  • The company boasts that all food is low-fat, low in sugar and lactose-free.
  • Good sugars such as lactose and dextrose are not bad at all.
  • If you drink milk on a regular basis, your stomach tolerance for lactose will increase.
  • lactose intolerance is probably one of the best cases to illustrate the gnarly normative obstructions which warp our perceptions.
British Dictionary definitions for lactose


/ˈlæktəʊs; -təʊz/
a white crystalline disaccharide occurring in milk and used in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals and baby foods. Formula: C12H22O11 Also called milk sugar
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 lactose

sugar from milk, 1858, from French, coined by French chemist Marcelin-Pierre-Eugène Berthelot (1827-1907) from Latin lac (genitive lactis) "milk" (see lactation) + chemical suffix -ose (2).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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lactose in Medicine

lactose lac·tose (lāk'tōs')

  1. A disaccharide in milk that hydrolyzes to yield glucose and galactose. Also called milk sugar.

  2. A white crystalline substance obtained from whey and used in infant foods and in pharmaceuticals as a diluent and excipient. Also called milk sugar.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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lactose in Science
  1. A white crystalline disaccharide consisting of a glucose and a galactose molecule, found in milk and used in the manufacture of various other foods. Chemical formula: C12H22O11.

  2. The inability to digest lactose properly is called lactose intolerance. It is caused by a deficiency of the enzyme lactase and marked by abdominal cramping and other symptoms after ingesting lactose.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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