Definition of enzyme in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɛnzʌɪm/


A substance produced by a living organism which acts as a catalyst to bring about a specific biochemical reaction.
Example sentences
  • They can act as real enzymes and, by analogy to protein enzymes, are called ribozymes.
  • It appears to be due, in large part, to the activity of a specific enzyme, cytokinin oxidase.
  • This is probably due to the presence of other enzymes besides the protease.

Most enzymes are proteins with large complex molecules whose action depends on their particular molecular shape. Some enzymes control reactions within cells and some, such as the enzymes involved in digestion, outside them.



Pronunciation: /ɛnzʌɪˈmatɪk/
Example sentences
  • The enzymatic removal of carbohydrate has been successful with soluble proteins.
  • This effect was independent of the enzymatic activity of this protein.
  • The enzymatic degradation of a phospholipid membrane has been followed in situ.


Pronunciation: /ɛnˈzʌɪmɪk/
Example sentences
  • The phototoxic activity of this porphyrin is mainly mediated by the impairment of the enzymic and transport functions of both the outer and cytoplasmic membranes.
  • For enzymic catalysis, this source of reversible work is unlikely because the amount of work required is much greater, while the participants in the reaction, including the enzyme, are usually chemically unreactive.
  • On the one hand, they may simply be by-products of several enzymic reactions.


Late 19th century: coined in German from modern Greek enzumos 'leavened', from en- 'within' + Greek zumē 'leaven'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: en¦zyme

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