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[kap-sid] /ˈkæp sɪd/
noun, Microbiology
the coiled or polyhedral structure, composed of proteins, that encloses the nucleic acid of a virus.
Also called protein coat.
Origin of capsid1
1960-65; < French capside, equivalent to Latin caps(a) case2 + -ide -id1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for protein coat
  • In that model the bugs were exposed to low concentration so formaldehyde to stimulate the production of a protective protein coat.
  • On top of the electrolyte they added a virus modified to produce a protein coat that collects molecules of cobalt oxide.
  • Once inside, the tiny marauder infiltrates the cells and sheds its protective protein coat.
British Dictionary definitions for protein coat


any heteropterous bug of the family Miridae (formerly Capsidae), most of which feed on plant tissues, causing damage to crops
Word Origin
C19: from New Latin Capsus (genus)


the outer protein coat of a mature virus
Word Origin
C20: from French capside, from Latin capsa box
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 protein coat



1889 in biology, "pertaining to capsidae," a type of insect, from Latin capsa "box" (see case (n.2)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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protein coat in Medicine

capsid cap·sid (kāp'sĭd)
The protein shell that surrounds a virus particle.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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protein coat in Science
The protein shell that surrounds a virus particle (known as a virion). See more at virus.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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