any of several phosphatides found in nerve tissue, blood, milk, egg yolk, soybeans, corn, etc.: used in medicine, foods, cosmetics, etc. as a wetting, emulsifying, and penetrating agent
Origin of lecithinfrom Classical Greek lekithos, yolk of an egg + -in
- Any of various substances containing phosphatidylcholine and a variety of other phospholipids, extracted from soybeans, egg yolks, or other sources and used as emulsifiers in a wide range of commercial products, including foods, cosmetics, paints, and plastics.
- See phosphatidylcholine.
Origin of lecithinFrench lécithine Greek lekithos egg yolk French -ine -in
Coined in 1847 by Theodore Gobley, from Ancient Greek Î»ÎÎºÎ¹Î¸Î¿Ï‚ (lÃ©kithos, “egg yolk")