One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A compound occurring in the liver and other tissues which inhibits blood coagulation. A sulphur-containing polysaccharide, it is used as an anticoagulant in the treatment of thrombosis.
- ‘Blood was collected from untreated albino mice using heparin as the anticoagulant.’
- ‘The drug is based on the natural anticoagulant heparin.’
- ‘The common treatment for thrombotic episodes is an oral anticoagulant and/or heparin.’
- ‘This effect of heparin is the basis for its clinical use as an anticoagulant.’
- ‘Examples of anticoagulants include aspirin, heparin, and warfarin.’
Early 20th century: via late Latin from Greek hēpar ‘liver’ + -in.
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