• synonyms


noun Pharmacology.
  1. a white or yellow, crystalline, water-soluble alkaloid, C20H19NO5, derived from barberry or goldenseal, used as an antipyrotic, antibacterial, and stomachic.
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Origin of berberine

1860–65; < New Latin Berber(is) (see berberidaceous) + -ine1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for berberine

Historical Examples of berberine

  • But this similarity only holds in the north, and is now shown to be due to Berberine immigration into Kordofan.

    Man, Past and Present

    Agustus Henry Keane

  • The inner bark and roots yield a fine yellow dye (berberine).

  • It differs from paricine in its proportion of hydrogen, and from berberine in containing more carbon.

  • "I have never had any real trouble with them," she continued with a little gesture of pride towards the disappearing Berberine.

British Dictionary definitions for berberine


  1. a yellow bitter-tasting alkaloid obtained from barberry and other plants and used medicinally, esp in tonics. Formula: C 20 H 19 NO 5
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Word Origin for berberine

C19: from German Berberin, from New Latin berberis barberry
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

berberine in Medicine


  1. A bitter-tasting yellow plant alkaloid used as an antipyretic and antibacterial agent.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.