Definition of lectin in English:



  • Any of a class of proteins, chiefly of plant origin, which bind specifically to certain sugars and so cause agglutination of particular cell types.

    • ‘The second, and major part, is a quick reference alphabetical directory listing around 170 lectins.’
    • ‘As I understand there is an argument about the possible role of lectins in the diet on metabolism, etc.’
    • ‘Pokeweed mitogen is one of the few lectins that stimulates B lymphocytes as well as T lymphocytes.’
    • ‘These results suggest that tomato lectin is an early marker in the differentiation of neural stem cells.’
    • ‘One of the most fascinating aspects of this topic is the interrelationship between lectins and viruses.’


1950s: from Latin lect- ‘chosen’ (from the verb legere) + -in.