Any of numerous compounds that are produced by living organisms and function as biochemical catalysts. Some enzymes are simple proteins, and others consist of a protein linked to one or more nonprotein groups.
[German Enzym, from Medieval Greek enzūmos, leavened : Greek en-, in; see EN-2 + Greek zūmē, leaven, yeast.]
en′zy·matic (-zə-mătĭk), en·zymic (-zīmĭk, -zĭmĭk) adj.
en′zy·mati·cal·ly, en·zymi·cal·ly adv.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.