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[pyoo r-een, -in] /ˈpyʊər in, -ɪn/
noun, Chemistry, Biochemistry.
a white, crystalline compound, C 5 H 4 N 4 , from which is derived a group of compounds including uric acid, xanthine, and caffeine.
one of several purine derivatives, especially the bases adenine and guanine, which are fundamental constituents of nucleic acids.
Origin of purine
From the German word Purin, dating back to 1895-1900. See pure, uric, -ine2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for purine


a colourless crystalline solid that can be prepared from uric acid. Formula: C5H4N4
Also called purine base. any of a number of nitrogenous bases, such as guanine and adenine, that are derivatives of purine and constituents of nucleic acids and certain coenzymes
Word Origin
C19: from German Purin; see pure, uric,-ine²
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for purine

1898, from German purin (Fischer), said to be from Latin purum, neuter of purus "clean, pure" (see pure) + Modern Latin uricum "uric acid" + chemical suffix -ine (2).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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purine in Medicine

purine pu·rine (pyur'ēn')

  1. A colorless crystalline organic base that is the parent compound of various biologically important derivatives.

  2. Any of a group of organic compounds that are derived from or are structurally related to purine, including uric acid, caffeine, adenine, and guanine.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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purine in Science
Any of a group of organic compounds containing two fused rings of carbon and nitrogen atoms. One ring has six members, the other has five, and each has two nitrogens. Purines include a number of biologically important compounds, such as adenosine, caffeine, uric acid, and the two bases adenine and guanine, which are components of DNA and RNA.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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