Definition of conchiolin in English:


Pronunciation /käNGˈkīələn/ /kɑŋˈkaɪələn/


  • A tough, insoluble protein secreted by mollusks, forming the organic matrix of the shell within which calcium carbonate is deposited.

    ‘Moreover, the chambers were divided by a system of numerous intracameral layers of conchiolin and protein.’
    • ‘The core of those structures is made of a protein called conchiolin, a common component of many mollusk shells.’
    • ‘Tropical shells tend to have higher metabolic and growth rates with higher conchiolin content.’
    • ‘This combination of calcium carbonate and conchiolin is called nacre or mother-of-pearl.’
    • ‘Pearls which have been known to be 200 years old have turned black because of the decay of the conchiolin.’


Late 19th century from Latin concha ‘shell’ + the diminutive suffix -iola+ -in.