Definition of protein in English:



  • 1Any of a class of nitrogenous organic compounds which have large molecules composed of one or more long chains of amino acids and are an essential part of all living organisms, especially as structural components of body tissues such as muscle, hair, etc., and as enzymes and antibodies:

    ‘a protein found in wheat’
    ‘animal proteins’
    • ‘The scientists have genetically engineered the animals to produce a green fluorescent protein in cells throughout the abdomen.’
    • ‘Western blot analysis confirmed that this truncated fusion protein is expressed in yeast (data not shown).’
    • ‘The tertiary structure of myoglobin is that of a typical water soluble globular protein.’
    • ‘Much recent research has focused on identifying proteins involved in metabolism of such compounds.’
    • ‘The 75-kD fusion protein was purified four times by affinity binding to an amylose resin.’
    1. 1.1[mass noun] Proteins collectively, especially as a dietary component:
      ‘a diet high in protein’
      • ‘Cover half your plate with vegetables, then a quarter with carbs and a quarter with protein.’
      • ‘An elemental diet is a liquid diet, made up of simple forms of protein, carbohydrates and fats.’
      • ‘The diet does seem to help with the training as well - all that pasta, rice and pure soya protein.’
      • ‘I always try to make sure that whatever I eat is balanced as I like to have my greens and my protein.’
      • ‘There would be little rice and even less protein for the family before the rains came again in May.’
      • ‘Eat either protein or starch combined with vegetables other than the potato.’
      • ‘In the latter case, you may want to add diced tofu or ham to the filling for a bit more protein.’
      • ‘Rice is high in protein, but these proteins are low in the essential amino acid lysine.’
      • ‘Pulses such as lentils are the most important source of protein in the Indian diet.’
      • ‘If you have healthy kidneys, you can't eat enough protein to damage your kidneys.’
      • ‘As well as protein, Brazils are high in fat, which causes them to go rancid quickly.’
      • ‘When there is a lot of carbohydrate in the diet, protein and fat are spared.’
      • ‘Some postmenopausal women swear that dietary soy protein combats their hot flushes.’
      • ‘Made out of lentils, beans and spices, these little balls are rich in fibre and protein.’


Mid 19th century: from French protéine, German Protein, from Greek prōteios primary, from prōtos first.