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1. Any of a class of extracellular proteins that are composed of three coiled polypeptide chains, form strong fibers, and are the main constituents of cartilage, bone, and other connective tissues in animals.
2. Material composed principally of collagen proteins. Collagen is converted into gelatin when boiled in water.
[Greek kolla, glue + -gen.]
col′la·gen′ic (-jĕn′ĭk), col·lag′e·nous (kə-lăj′ə-nəs) adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.