Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
tryp·to·phan(trĭp′tə-făn′) also tryp·to·phane (-fān′)
An essential amino acid, C11H12N2O2, formed from proteins during digestion by the action of proteolytic enzymes. It is necessary for normal growth and development and is the precursor of several substances, including serotonin and niacin.
[trypt(ic), of trypsin (formed on the model of pepsin, peptic); see trypsin + -phan(e).]