One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Any of a group of colourless compounds which are reduced derivatives of porphin (and metabolic precursors of porphyrins) in which the four pyrrole nuclei are linked by methylene groups, —CH₂—.
Early 20th century; earliest use found in Journal of the Chemical Society. From porphyrin + -ogen, after German Porphyrinogen.
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