• synonyms


[vuh-nil-in, van-l-]
noun Chemistry.
  1. a white, crystalline, water-soluble, alcohol-soluble solid, C8H8O3, obtained by extraction from the vanilla bean or prepared synthetically: used chiefly as a flavoring agent and in perfumery.
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Also va·nil·line [vuh-nil-in, -een, van-l-in, -een] /vəˈnɪl ɪn, -in, ˈvæn l ɪn, -ˌin/.

Origin of vanillin

First recorded in 1865–70; vanill(a) + -in2
Also called vanillic aldehyde.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for vanillin

Historical Examples

  • Vanillin also occurs in Siam benzoin, in raw beet-sugar and in cloves.

    Birds and Nature Vol. 9 No. 1 [January 1901]


  • The real vanilla flavor, vanillin, was made by Tiemann in 1874.

    Creative Chemistry

    Edwin E. Slosson

  • Vanillin, a white crystalline solid, melting at 80°-82° C. and prepared by the oxidation of isoeugenol.

British Dictionary definitions for vanillin


  1. a white crystalline aldehyde found in vanilla and many natural balsams and resins; 3-methoxy-4-hydroxybenzaldehyde. It is a by-product of paper manufacture and is used as a flavouring and in perfumes and pharmaceuticals. Formula: (CH 3 O)(OH)C 6 H 3 CHO
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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

Word Origin and History for vanillin


substance prepared from fruit of the vanilla plant, 1868, from vanilla + -in (2).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

vanillin in Medicine


(və-nĭlĭn, vănə-lĭn)
  1. A white or yellowish crystalline compound found in vanilla beans and certain balsams and resins and used in flavorings and pharmaceuticals.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.