Definition of chitin in English:

chitin

Line breaks: chi¦tin
Pronunciation: /ˈkʌɪtɪn
 
/

noun

[mass noun] Biochemistry
  • A fibrous substance consisting of polysaccharides, which is the major constituent in the exoskeleton of arthropods and the cell walls of fungi.
    More example sentences
    • Finally, like other fungi, chytrids have chitin strengthening their cell walls, and one subgroup have cellulose as well, a trait unique among living fungi.
    • Arthropods have a stiff cuticle made largely of chitin and proteins, forming an exoskeleton that may or may not be further stiffened with calcium carbonate.
    • There are a few other animal carbohydrates, notably chitin, the substance which constitutes the hard outer casing of insects and crustaceans.

Derivatives

chitinous

adjective
More example sentences
  • But this time… ‘Dancer held up her elongated forearms, staring at her pale, chitinous claws.’
  • In addition, examination of the chitinous cuticle that covers the surface of the infundibulum reveals a remarkable array of tiny pegs or ‘denticles’.
  • They are the earliest well-known complex three-dimensional trace fossils; mostly small, chitinous, calcareous, and phosphatic elements of problematic affinity.

Origin

mid 19th century: from French chitine, formed irregularly from Greek khitōn (see chiton).

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