chitin

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See also: Chitin

English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From French chitine, from Latin chitōn (mollusk). See also chiton.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

chitin (countable and uncountable, plural chitins)

  1. (biochemistry) A complex polysaccharide, a polymer of N-acetylglucosamine, found in the exoskeletons of arthropods and in the cell walls of fungi; thought to be responsible for some forms of asthma in humans.
    • 1880, Arthur Gamgee, A Text-book of the Physiological Chemistry of the Animal Body, Macmillan, p. 299
      Chitin usually occurs throughout Invertebrates in the form of an investment to the outermost cellular layer or ectoderm.
    • 2004, New Scientist, 11 Sep 2004, p.19
      The robot’s energy source is the sugar in the polysaccharide called chitin that makes up a fly’s exoskeleton.

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