Definition of trypsin in US English:



  • A digestive enzyme that breaks down proteins in the small intestine. It is secreted by the pancreas in an inactive form, trypsinogen.

    • ‘They then added the enzyme trypsin to carve up the remaining proteins into small, but still recognizable fragments, or peptides.’
    • ‘We found that both trypsin and elastase digestion eliminated counterbend formation.’
    • ‘Selected cases were also examined with immunohistochemical stains for lipase, trypsin, and amylase.’
    • ‘Many people take extra doses of naturally produced enzymes, such as lactase, pepsin and trypsin, in supplement form.’
    • ‘When the two loops in trypsin were changed into chymotrypsin loops, the hybrid protein shows chymotrypsin-like cooperatvity.’


Late 19th century: from Greek tripsis ‘friction’, from tribein ‘to rub’ (because it was first obtained by rubbing down the pancreas with glycerine), + -in.