One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A greyish-green compound formed by the degradation of chlorophyll or phaeophytin (e.g. by strong acid or by enzymes), having the structure of phaeophytin with the phytyl group replaced by a hydrogen atom; (more fully "phaeophorbide a", "phaeophorbide b") either of two forms of this, derived from chlorophyll a and chlorophyll b respectively.
Early 20th century; earliest use found in Chemical Abstracts. From German Phäophorbid from ancient Greek ϕαιός grey + ϕορβή pasture, food + German -id.
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