Advertisement

melanin (n.)

dark brown or black pigment found in animal bodies, 1832, Modern Latin, with chemical suffix -in (2); first element from Greek melas (genitive melanos) "black," probably from a PIE root *melh- "of darkish color" (source also of Sanskrit malinah "dirty, stained, black," Lithuanian melynas "blue," Latin mulleus "reddish"). Related: Melanism; melanistic.