There are 2 definitions of prion in English:

prion1

Syllabification: pri·on
Pronunciation: /ˈprīˌän
 
/

noun

  • A small petrel of southern seas, having a wide bill fringed with comblike plates for feeding on planktonic crustaceans.
    • Genus Pachyptila, family Procellariidae: six species
    More example sentences
    • In addition to the wandering, we also were entranced by royal and shy albatrosses, as well as Cape and giant petrels, fairy prions and fluttering shearwaters.
    • It is generally accepted that the Family Procellariidae can be split into four broad groupings; the fulmars (Fulmarus), the gadfly-petrels (Pterodroma), the prions (Pachyptila) and the shearwaters (Puffinus).
    • The prions currently comprise six rather similar looking species of Pachyptila prion together with the Blue Petrel.

Origin

mid 19th century: modern Latin (former genus name), from Greek priōn 'a saw' (referring to its sawlike bill).

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Word of the day kerf
Pronunciation: kəːf
noun
a slit made by cutting with a saw

There are 2 definitions of prion in English:

prion2

Syllabification: pri·on
Pronunciation: /ˈprēˌän
 
/

noun

Microbiology
  • A protein particle that is believed to be the cause of brain diseases such as BSE, scrapie, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Prions are not visible microscopically, contain no nucleic acid, and are highly resistant to destruction. Compare with virino.
    More example sentences
    • Twisted forms of brain proteins called prions spread the disease, making normal proteins misfold.
    • The means of transmission is of particular concern because the protein nature of prions makes them extremely resistant to conventional means of disinfection and sterilization.
    • For many years after their discovery as the agents of some rare neurodegenerative diseases in mammals, such as scrapie in sheep and human Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and kuru, prions have remained a truly esoteric research topic.

Origin

1980s: by rearrangement of elements from pro(teinaceous) in(fectious particle).

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Word of the day kerf
Pronunciation: kəːf
noun
a slit made by cutting with a saw