- any of a widely distributed class of enzymes that catalyze the hydrolysis of starch, glycogen, and related polysaccharides to oligosaccharides, maltose, or glucose.
- any of several digestive enzymes that break down starches.
- any of several enzymes that hydrolyse starch and glycogen to simple sugars, such as glucose. They are present in saliva
- Any of a group of enzymes that catalyze the hydrolysis of starch to sugar to produce carbohydrate derivatives.
- Any of various enzymes that cause starches to break down into smaller sugars, especially maltose, by hydrolysis. There are two types of amylases, alpha-amylases and beta-amylases. In humans, an alpha-amylase known as ptyalin is present in saliva and is also produced by the pancreas for secretion into the small intestine. Beta-amylases are found in bacteria, molds, yeasts, and the seeds of plants.