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Melanconiaceous
Melanconiales
Melanerpes
Melanerpes Carolinus
Melanerpes erythrocephalus
Melanerpes formicivorus
Melanesia
Melanesian
melange
Melangus vulgaris
Melanian
melanic
Melanie Klein
Melaniline
melanise
melanism
melanistic
Melanite
Melanitic
Melanitta
Melanitta nigra
melanization
melanize
melano-
melanoblast
Melanochroi
Melanochroic

melanin definitions

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

n
1: insoluble pigments that account for the color of e.g. skin and scales and feathers

Merriam Webster's

noun Date: 1843 any of various black, dark brown, reddish-brown, or yellow pigments of animal or plant structures (as skin or hair)

Britannica Concise

Any of several organic compounds, dark biological pigments that give coloration (shades of yellow to brown) to skin, hair, feathers, scales, eyes, and some internal tissues, notably the substantia nigra in the brain. In humans, melanins help protect the skin against the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation, but melanoma may arise from cells that produce it. The amount in the skin depends on both genetic and environmental factors. Melanin is produced from the amino acid tyrosine; albinos lack the enzyme that catalyzes that reaction.

Oxford Reference Dictionary

n. a dark-brown to black pigment occurring in the hair, skin, and iris of the eye, that is responsible for tanning of the skin when exposed to sunlight. Etymology: Gk melas melanos black + -IN

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Melanin Mel"a*nin, n. [Gr. me`las, -anos, black.] (Physiol.) A black pigment found in the pigment-bearing cells of the skin (particularly in the skin of the negro), in the epithelial cells of the external layer of the retina (then called fuscin), in the outer layer of the choroid, and elsewhere. It is supposed to be derived from the decomposition of hemoglobin.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

Melanin is a dark substance in the skin, eyes, and hair of people and animals, which gives them colour and can protect them against strong sunlight.



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