Definition of melanin in English:


Line breaks: mel|anin
Pronunciation: /ˈmɛlənɪn


[mass noun]
A dark brown to black pigment occurring in the hair, skin, and iris of the eye in people and animals. It is responsible for tanning of skin exposed to sunlight.
More example sentences
  • The body normally converts the amino acid tyrosine into the pigment melanin.
  • One theory focuses on the fact that people with red hair have a different type of melanin (a skin pigment) than people with dark hair.
  • The melanosomes convert tyrosine to melanin, giving skin its color.


mid 19th century: from Greek melas, melan- 'black' + -in1.

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