1. An acidic glycosaminoglycan found especially in lung and liver tissue and having the ability to slow the clotting of blood, used as a drug in the treatment of thrombosis. Also called unfractionated heparin.
2. Any of several anticoagulants, such as enoxaparin, that are derived from this compound by depolymerization and have a lower molecular weight and somewhat different pharmacological properties. Also called low-molecular-weight heparin.
[Late Latin hēpar, liver (from Greek; see ykw in the Appendix of Indo-European roots) + -IN.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus