a white, aromatic, crystalline, essential amino acid, CHNHCHCCHCH(NH)COOH, produced synthetically and in digestion by the action of trypsin on proteins
Origin of tryptophantrypt(ic) + -o- + -phan(e)
An essential amino acid, C11H12N2O2, formed from proteins during digestion by the action of proteolytic enzymes. It is necessary for normal growth and development and is the precursor of several substances, including serotonin and niacin.
Origin of tryptophantrypt(ic) of trypsin ( formed on the model of pepsin, peptic ); see trypsin . -phan(e)
(countable and uncountable, plural tryptophans)
From German Tryptophan, corresponding to tryptic + Ancient Greek ϕαίνειν (phainein, “to appear”).