Definition of albumen in US English:



  • Egg white, or the protein contained in it.

    • ‘Add salt and a little lemon juice and the albumen will trap the air as you whisk, doubling in volume.’
    • ‘In addition, the amino acid composition of protein in the yolk and albumen of six young females' eggs was similar to that in early laid eggs.’
    • ‘In particular, loss of water from albumen through boiling, and from albumen and yolk through freezing, will cause protein and lipid to be concentrated in the sample that remains.’
    • ‘The Victorians were agog to read William Mattieu Williams's Chemistry of Food, which went through four editions covering things like albumen, gelatine, casein and the cookery of vegetables.’
    • ‘Take a quantity of albumen [egg white] and mix thoroughly with the soot.’
    • ‘Loss of albumen and proteins, either from uncontrolled glomerular filtration, or from ineffective reabsorption, prevents establishment of normal capillary osmotic pressure.’
    • ‘During a 20 hour passage down the oviduct, the egg becomes surrounded by albumen (egg white), the shell membranes, and the shell.’
    • ‘The negative charge repels plasma proteins, including albumen, so they are not filtered but remain in the blood.’
    • ‘The study of food science advanced during the 19th century with the discovery of proteins, then known as albumen, in fluid extracted from meat.’
    • ‘The albumen contains much of the water and protein that the developing chick will need.’
    • ‘All the waste products end up here and are made into fertilizer, gelatin, albumen, glue, etc.’
    • ‘In addition, amino-acid makeup of protein in albumen and yolk of young females' eggs was similar to that in early laid eggs.’
    • ‘CHEF'S SECRET Don't season the eggs before you cook them, because salt breaks down the albumen in the egg white and thins the mixture, giving a less satisfactory result’
    • ‘The bones contribute albumen and collagen which convert to gelatine and give a good stew its gravitas.’
    • ‘Protein was determined by the method of Bradford using bovine serum albumen as the standard protein.’
    • ‘Kistler later prepared aerogels from many other materials, including alumina, tungsten oxide, ferric oxide, tin oxide, nickel tartarate, cellulose, cellulose nitrate, gelatin, agar, egg albumen, and rubber.’
    • ‘Our data also indicate that, as in other birds, the amino acid composition of protein in the yolk and albumen of Thick-billed Murre eggs is generally similar.’
    • ‘Crab braised in rice wine in a sauce thickened with more albumen tasted as though it had been cooked in sea water.’
    • ‘The suite of maternal proteins in the crude albumen creates complex banding patterns, with high probability of differences between females.’
    • ‘The proteins move at different speeds; albumen fastest, then alpha 1, alpha 2, beta and then gamma.’


The words albumen and albumin have the same origin but are not identical in meaning. Albumen refers specifically to egg white or the protein found in egg white. Albumin, on the other hand, refers to the more general category of protein that is soluble in water and that is coagulated on heating, of which albumen is just one type


Late 16th century: from Latin, ‘egg white’, from albus ‘white’.