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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Zein \Ze"in\, n. [Cf. F. z['e]["i]ne. See Zea.] (Chem.) A nitrogenous substance of the nature of gluten, obtained from the seeds of Indian corn ( Zea) as a soft, yellowish, amorphous substance. [Formerly written zeine.]

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

simple protein obtained from maize and wheat, 1822, from zea, Late Latin name for "spelt," from Greek zeia "one-seeded wheat, barley, corn" (from PIE root *yewo-) + -in (2).


n. A protein derived from corn / maize, having many industrial applications.


Zein is a class of prolamine protein found in maize (corn). It is usually manufactured as a powder from corn gluten meal. Zein is one of the best understood plant proteins. Pure zein is clear, odorless, tasteless, hard, water-insoluble, and edible, and it has a variety of industrial and food uses.

Zein (disambiguation)

Zein is a very common Arabic name and family name.

Zein may refer to:

  • Zein, a class of prolamine protein found in maize
First name
  • Princess Zein bint Al Hussein, the sister of King Abdullah II of Jordan
  • Zein al-Sharaf Talal, the Queen of Jordan and wife of King Talal
  • Zein Pun, a court official at the Martaban Palace of Hanthawaddy Kingdom, who seized the throne for seven days in 1331
Family name
  • Abdel Latif El Zein, a Lebanese politician
  • Ahmad Ali El Zein, a Lebanese novelist and journalist
  • Ahmad Zein, a Yemeni writer and journalist
  • Ahmed Aref El-Zein, a Shi’a intellectual from the Jabal Amil area of South Lebanon
  • Ahmed Zein El-Abidin, an Egyptian Olympic fencer
  • Haitham Zein, a Lebanese footballer
  • Mahmoud Al-Zein, nicknamed "the president of Berlin", an organised crime boss in Germany
  • Melhem Zein, a Lebanese singer
  • Saw Zein, the fourth king of Hanthawaddy Pegu from 1324 to 1331

Usage examples of "zein".

Little Zein came upon a pile of more cones than he could carry, though the other boys brought them all in.

His studies were made at Bagdad, where Ibn Zein el-Taberi was his teacher.

Dervish infantry escaped, but the rest were either killed or made prisoners, together with Mahomed Zein, the governor.

The protein of corn, zein, for example, was shown to be incapable of supporting life.