Vitamin Definition

Any of a number of unrelated, complex organic substances found variously in most foods, or sometimes synthesized in the body, and essential, in small amounts, for the regulation of the metabolism and normal growth and functioning of the body.
Webster's New World
A dose of such a substance or of a group of such substances, taken, as in a tablet, as a dietary supplement.
Webster's New World

Any of a specific group of organic compounds essential in small quantities for healthy human growth, metabolism, development, and body function; found in minute amounts in plant and animal foods or sometimes produced synthetically; deficiencies of specific vitamins produce specific disorders.


Other Word Forms of Vitamin



Origin of Vitamin

  • 1920, originally vitamine (1912), from Latin vÄ«ta (“life") (see vital) + amine (see amino acids). Vitamine coined by Polish biochemist Casimir Funk after the initial discovery of aberic acid (thiamine), when it was thought that all such nutrients would be amines. The term had become ubiquitous by the time it was discovered that vitamin C, among others, had no amine component. In 1920, British biochemist Jack Drummond proposed that the final -e be dropped to deemphasize the amine reference. The ending -in was acceptable because it was used for neutral substances of undefined composition. Drummond also introduced the lettering system of nomenclature (Vitamin A, B, C, etc.) at this same time.

    From Wiktionary

  • Alteration of vitamine Latin vīta life gwei- in Indo-European roots amine (so called because they were originally thought to be amines)

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

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