gelatin Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun a colorless water-soluble glutinous protein obtained from animal tissues such as bone and skin
  2. noun an edible jelly (sweet or pungent) made with gelatin and used as a dessert or salad base or a coating for foods
  3. noun a thin translucent membrane used over stage lights for color effects


Gel"a*tin (Also<
  • Gelatin
  • Gelatine
  1. , Gel"a*tine , n. F. gélatine, fr. L. gelare to congeal. See Geal. (Chem.) Animal jelly; glutinous material obtained from animal tissues by prolonged boiling. Specifically (Physiol. Chem.), a nitrogeneous colloid, not existing as such in the animal body, but formed by the hydrating action of boiling water on the collagen of various kinds of connective tissue (as tendons, bones, ligaments, etc.). Its distinguishing character is that of dissolving in hot water, and forming a jelly on cooling. It is an important ingredient of calf's-foot jelly, isinglass, glue, etc. It is used as food, but its nutritious qualities are of a low order. ✍ Both spellings, gelatin and gelatine, are in good use, but the tendency of writers on physiological chemistry favors the form in -in, as in the United States Dispensatory, the United States Pharmacopoeia, Fownes' Watts' Chemistry, Brande & Cox's Dictionary.

Webster 1913