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[kwahy-nahyn, kwin-ahyn or, esp. British, kwi-neen] /ˈkwaɪ naɪn, ˈkwɪn aɪn or, esp. British, kwɪˈnin/
noun, Chemistry, Pharmacology.
a white, bitter, slightly water-soluble alkaloid, C 2 0 H 2 4 N 2 O 2 , having needlelike crystals, obtained from cinchona bark: used in medicine chiefly in the treatment of resistant forms of malaria.
a salt of this alkaloid, especially the sulfate.
Origin of quinine
1820-30; < Spanish quin(a) (< Quechua kina bark) + -ine2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for quinine
Historical Examples
  • Well, shove in quinine, and keep him quiet, with hot bottles to his feet.

    The Burning Spear John Galsworthy
  • Which would be better to give him, quinine, or aconite and belladonna?

    The Very Small Person Annie Hamilton Donnell
  • But I fully believed that quinine was of very great use indeed.

    The Shadow-Line Joseph Conrad
  • The lower of the two, in one of its compartments, contained our provision of quinine.

    The Shadow-Line Joseph Conrad
  • Sulphate of quinine is made by the use of sulphuric acid as a solvent.

  • In 1638, quinine, derived from this bark, was introduced into Europe as a cure for malaria.

    The Necessity of Atheism Dr. D.M. Brooks
  • I swallowed all my stock of aspirin and quinine but without relief.

    Beasts, Men and Gods Ferdinand Ossendowski
  • I guess that quinine saved me—I would like to have Sears know about it.

    Terry Charles Goff Thomson
  • Among others is the chinchona-tree, from which quinine is obtained.

    The Western World W.H.G. Kingston
  • Try to get a little iron and quinine into your constitution.

    Expositions of Holy Scripture

    Alexander Maclaren
British Dictionary definitions for quinine


/kwɪˈniːn; US ˈkwaɪnaɪn/
a bitter crystalline alkaloid extracted from cinchona bark, the salts of which are used as a tonic, antipyretic, analgesic, etc, and in malaria therapy. Formula: C20H24N2O2
Word Origin
C19: from Spanish quina cinchona bark, from Quechua kina bark
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 quinine

alkaloid responsible for curative properties in the cinchona tree, 1821, from French quinine (1820), with chemical ending -ine (2) + Spanish quina "cinchona bark" (from which it is extracted), from Quechua (Peru) kina. Earlier in reduplicated form quinaquina (1727).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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quinine in Medicine

quinine qui·nine (kwī'nīn')

  1. A bitter colorless amorphous powder or crystalline alkaloid derived from certain cinchona barks and used to treat malaria.

  2. Any of various compounds or salts of quinine.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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quinine in Science
A bitter-tasting, colorless drug derived from the bark of certain cinchona trees and used medicinally to treat malaria. For hundreds of years quinine was the only drug known to effectively combat malarial infection. It has since been largely replaced by synthetic compounds that not only relieve the symptoms of malaria but also rid the body of the malarial parasite, which quinine does not do. See Note at aspirin.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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