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[zan-thuh-fil] /ˈzæn θə fɪl/
noun, Biochemistry
lutein (def 1).
Also, xanthophyl.
1830-40; < French xanthophylle. See xantho-, -phyll
Related forms
xanthophyllous, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for xanthophyll
  • The exact color of a yolk depends on the source of the xanthophyll.
British Dictionary definitions for xanthophyll


any of a group of yellow carotenoid pigments occurring in plant and animal tissue
Derived Forms
xanthophyllous, adjective
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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xanthophyll in Science
Any of various yellow pigments occurring in the leaves of plants and giving young shoots and late autumn leaves their characteristic color. This color is masked by chlorophyll when the leaf is mature. Xanthophylls aid in the absorption of light by capturing certain wavelengths not captured by chlorophyll and rapidly transferring the energy to chlorophyll by boosting one of its electrons to a higher energy level. Xanthophylls are carotenoids, differing from carotenes in having one or more oxygen-containing groups attached. See also carotene.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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