follow Dictionary.com

8 Wintry Words to Defrost Your Vocabulary

melanism

[mel-uh-niz-uh m] /ˈmɛl əˌnɪz əm/
noun
1.
Ethnology. the condition in human beings of having a high amount of melanin granules in the skin, hair, and eyes.
2.
Zoology. the condition in which an unusually high concentration of melanin occurs in the skin, plumage, or pelage of an animal.
Origin
1835-1845
1835-45; melan- + -ism
Related forms
melanistic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for melanism
  • The gene involved in the origin of melanism in rock pocket mice is.
  • As a reaction and antidote to white racism, melanism is understandable.
  • All that would be necessary at the fish market is to pick one scale from each flounder having melanism on the blind side.
British Dictionary definitions for melanism

melanism

/ˈmɛləˌnɪzəm/
noun
1.
the condition in man and animals of having dark-coloured or black skin, feathers, etc. Industrial melanism is the occurrence of dark varieties of animals, esp moths, in smoke-blackened industrial regions, in which they are well camouflaged
2.
another name for melanosis
Derived Forms
melanistic, adjective

melanosis

/ˌmɛləˈnəʊsɪs/
noun
1.
(pathol) a skin condition characterized by excessive deposits of melanin
Derived Forms
melanotic (ˌmɛləˈnɒtɪk) 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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for melanism
n.

1843, from melano- + -ism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
melanism in Medicine

melanism mel·a·nism (měl'ə-nĭz'əm)
n.

  1. See melanosis.

  2. Dark coloration of the skin, hair, fur, or feathers because of a high concentration of melanin.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
melanism in Science
melanism
  (měl'ə-nĭz'əm)   
Dark coloration of the skin, hair, fur, or feathers because of a high concentration of melanin.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for melanism

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for melanism

12
16
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for melanism