1. Any of several inherited conditions characterized by the reduction or absence of the pigment melanin in a person or animal, resulting in lack of pigmentation in the eyes, skin, and hair. Humans with albinism usually have vision problems.
2. Lack of chlorophyll in a plant or plant part, resulting in a pale color.
[French albinisme, from German Albinismus, from Albino, albino, from Portuguese; see ALBINO.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.