English Dictionary

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chitin (ˈkaɪtɪn Pronunciation for chitin



  1. a polysaccharide that is the principal component of the exoskeletons of arthropods and of the bodies of fungi

Derived Forms

ˈchitinous adjective
ˈchitinˌoid adjective

Word Origin

C19: from French chitine, from Greek khitōn chiton + -in

Example Sentences Including 'chitin'

A key ingredient is chitin , derived from the shells of queen crabs; it has been shown by Japanese scientists to ease itching.
Times, Sunday Times (2002)
Enzymes produced by the bacteria break down the chitin to release sugar molecules.
New Scientist (2004)
The cockroach droppings, still rich in chitin , were decomposed by a fungus, Penicillium janthinellum.
Chapman, Philip Caves and Cave Life


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