- any of a large class of organic, nitrogen-containing ring compounds of vegetable origin and sometimes synthesized, some of which are liquid but most of which are solid, that have a bitter taste, that are usually water-insoluble and alcohol-soluble, that combine with acids without the loss of a water molecule to form water-soluble hydrochlorides, hydrobromides, or the like, and that usually exhibit pharmacological action, as nicotine, morphine, or quinine.
- resembling an alkali; alkaline.
Origin of alkaloid
Examples from the Web for alkaloid
Historical Examples of alkaloid
Mr. Alkaloid had come from Ryde to London to get his hair singed.
Within the room Mr. Alkaloid was photographing the dead poodle.
This alkaloid is a white solid and is of great service in medicine.An Elementary Study of Chemistry
It was but for a moment, for the action of the alkaloid is rapid.A Study In Scarlet
Arthur Conan Doyle
Picrotoxin (C30H24O13) is not an alkaloid as may be seen from its formula.The Medicinal Plants of the Philippines
T. H. Pardo de Tavera
- any of a group of nitrogenous basic compounds found in plants, typically insoluble in water and physiologically active. Common examples are morphine, strychnine, quinine, nicotine, and caffeine
Word Origin and History for alkaloid
- Any of various organic compounds, such as nicotine and morphine, that have basic chemical properties and that usually contain at least one nitrogen atom in a heterocyclic ring.
- Any of a large class of naturally occurring, complex organic compounds that contain nitrogen and have physiological effects on animals, including humans. Most alkaloids occur in plants, although some are produced by fungi and animals. Alkaloids are bases and usually form colorless crystalline solids with a bitter taste. They have a wide range of effects and are used as medicines and poisons. Morphine, quinine, strychnine, codeine, caffeine, cocaine, and nicotine are all alkaloids.