What does protein mean?

Definitions for protein
ˈproʊ tin, -ti ɪnpro·tein

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word protein.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. proteinnoun

    any of a large group of nitrogenous organic compounds that are essential constituents of living cells; consist of polymers of amino acids; essential in the diet of animals for growth and for repair of tissues; can be obtained from meat and eggs and milk and legumes

    "a diet high in protein"


  1. proteinnoun

    Any of numerous large, complex naturally-produced molecules composed of one or more long chains of amino acids, in which the amino acid groups are held together by peptide bonds.

  2. proteinnoun

    One of three major classes of food or source of food energy (4 kcal/gram) abundant in animal-derived foods and some vegetables, such as legumes. see carbohydrate and fat for the other two major classes

Webster Dictionary

  1. Proteinnoun

    a body now known as alkali albumin, but originally considered to be the basis of all albuminous substances, whence its name

  2. Etymology: [Gr. prw^tos first: cf. prwtei^on the first place.]


  1. Protein

    Proteins are large biological molecules consisting of one or more chains of amino acids. Proteins perform a vast array of functions within living organisms, including catalyzing metabolic reactions, replicating DNA, responding to stimuli, and transporting molecules from one location to another. Proteins differ from one another primarily in their sequence of amino acids, which is dictated by the nucleotide sequence of their genes, and which usually results in folding of the protein into a specific three-dimensional structure that determines its activity. A polypeptide is a single linear polymer chain of amino acids bonded together by peptide bonds between the carboxyl and amino groups of adjacent amino acid residues. The sequence of amino acids in a protein is defined by the sequence of a gene, which is encoded in the genetic code. In general, the genetic code specifies 20 standard amino acids; however, in certain organisms the genetic code can include selenocysteine and—in certain archaea—pyrrolysine. Shortly after or even during synthesis, the residues in a protein are often chemically modified by posttranslational modification, which alters the physical and chemical properties, folding, stability, activity, and ultimately, the function of the proteins. Sometimes proteins have non-peptide groups attached, which can be called prosthetic groups or cofactors. Proteins can also work together to achieve a particular function, and they often associate to form stable protein complexes.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Protein

    prō′tē-in, n. the first element in any compound: formerly the supposed common radical of the group of bodies which form the most essential articles of food, albumen, fibrine, &c.—n. Prō′tēid, a body containing protein: one of several bodies which go to make up the soft tissues of animals and vegetables. [Gr. prōtos, first, suffix -in.]

Editors Contribution

  1. protein

    A type of matter, molecule or form of food.

    Proteins differ from one another primarily in their sequence of amino acids, which is created by the nucleotide sequence of their genes.

    Submitted by MaryC on September 9, 2015  

Suggested Resources

  1. protein

    Song lyrics by protein -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by protein on the Lyrics.com website.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'protein' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #3371

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'protein' in Nouns Frequency: #1090

Anagrams for protein »

  1. interop, pointer, pterion, repoint, tropein, tropine

How to pronounce protein?

How to say protein in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of protein in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of protein in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of protein in a Sentence

  1. Vincent Racaniello:

    Coronaviruses — you can manipulate them in the lab pretty easily, spike protein drives a lot of what happen with coronavirus, in zoonotic risk. So you can get the sequence, you can build the protein, and we work a lot with Ralph Baric at UNC to do this. Insert into the backbone of another virus and do some work in the lab. So you can get more predictive when you find a sequence. You’ve got this diversity. Now the logical progression for vaccines is, if you are going to develop a vaccine for SARS, people are going to use pandemic SARS, but let’s insert some of these other things and get a better vaccine.

  2. Robert Nathan:

    If we're replacing 5 or 10 percent of the proteins that are normally in those feeds with insect protein.

  3. Lisa Steele:

    They fill you up, they have some fat in them, they're a complete protein, and they're so versatile.

  4. Amy Kimberlain:

    Plant-based eaters may have a small portion of cheese or other animal protein.

  5. Stephen Simpson:

    There is a severe food security risk in the tropics, no species are already activated to temperatures warmer than the tropics, so you could see a real crash in food fish populations. And these are places where coastal nations often have no other protein in the diet other than the fish from coral reefs.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for protein

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for protein »


Find a translation for the protein definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:

Discuss these protein definitions with the community:



    Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


    "protein." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 10 Aug. 2022. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/protein>.

    Are we missing a good definition for protein? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Image or illustration of


    Browse Definitions.net

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!


    Are you a words master?

    being essentially equal to something
    • A. repugnant
    • B. irascible
    • C. tantamount
    • D. splay

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for protein: