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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. 2015.
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Examples from the web for quinine
  • Evidence of quinoline, which contains quinine, is a bit more difficult to explain.
  • There was quinine in the tonic, so that's how they justified the drinking.
  • For centuries, the standard treatment was quinine, and then the chemically related compound chloroquine.
  • Various things were popularly suggested to take the place of quinine and other medicines.
  • Most of the party had malaria, and could be kept going only by large doses of quinine.
  • It is better not to make the trip at all than to fail to take an ample supply of quinine pills.
  • Freddy was up for tea that afternoon, taking large doses of quinine with it.
  • However, there are clearly genetic influences at work, as well-for example in the ability to taste quinine.
  • When the shaking stopped, they were then able to give her quinine to tackle the parasites, and she was cured.
  • Then she brushes on sucrose to test my sense of sweet, citric acid to test sour, and quinine to test bitter.
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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