[ pyoor-een, -in ]
/ ˈpyʊər in, -ɪn /
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noun Chemistry, Biochemistry.
a white, crystalline compound, C5H4N4, 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.
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Origin of purine

From the German word Purin, dating back to 1895–1900. See pure, uric, -ine2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

British Dictionary definitions for purine


purin (ˈpjʊərɪn)

/ (ˈpjʊəriːn) /

a colourless crystalline solid that can be prepared from uric acid. Formula: C 5 H 4 N 4
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 for purine

C19: from German Purin; see pure, uric, -ine ²
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

Medical definitions for purine

[ pyurēn′ ]

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

Scientific definitions for purine

[ pyurēn′ ]

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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.