Definition of lignin in English:



mass nounBotany
  • A complex organic polymer deposited in the cell walls of many plants, making them rigid and woody.

    • ‘Callose, lignin and suberin are polymers that can be elicited as plant defences that reinforce cell walls of some species.’
    • ‘The hypodermis of all three species has two distinct zones that contain suberin and lignin.’
    • ‘While animal cell membranes decay too rapidly to be pyritised, the cellulose or lignin cell walls of plants are more resistant and may be preserved in this way.’
    • ‘Impregnation of endodermal and hypodermal walls with suberin and lignin should reduce the diameter of interfibrillar spaces.’
    • ‘Cytochemistry and autofluorescence observations were used to detect the presence of lignin and suberin in unfixed tissues.’


Early 19th century: from ligni- ‘of wood’ + -in.