from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A bitter, colorless, amorphous powder or crystalline alkaloid, C20H24N2O2·3H2O, derived from certain cinchona barks and used in medicine to treat malaria.
  • n. Any of various compounds or salts of quinine.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A bitter colourless powder, an alkaloid derived from cinchona bark, used to treat malaria and as an ingredient of tonic water.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An alkaloid extracted from the bark of several species of cinchona (esp. Cinchona Calisaya) as a bitter white crystalline substance, C20H24N2O2. Hence, by extension (Med.), any of the salts of this alkaloid, as the acetate, chloride, sulphate, etc., employed as a febrifuge or antiperiodic. Called also quinia, quinina, etc.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A very important vegetable alkali (C20H24N2O2), obtained from the bark of several trees of the genus Cinchona.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a bitter alkaloid extracted from chinchona bark; used in malaria therapy


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Spanish quina ("cinchona bark"), from Quechua kina.



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  • "Quinine was the only treatment found to be effective against malaria, and in the middle of the nineteenth century malaria was a problem that determined the size and prosperity of an empire....

    But this was the era of the new alkaloid. Cinchona bark (and roots and leaves) contained not only quinine (named after the Spanish spelling of 'kina', the Peruvian word for bark) but also cinchonine, and in the next two decades, two more alkaloids were isolated from the tree, quinidine and cinchonidine. Each had a slightly different molecular structure, and none was quite as effective against malaria as pure quinine (but nevertheless sold as such). In the same period, the two Frenchmen also isolated the strychnine from St Ignatius's beans, and other chemists found other alkaloids -- caffeine in coffee beans and codeine in opium."

    Simon Garfield, Mauve: How One Man Invented a Color that Changed the World (London: Faber and Faber, Ltd., 2000), 30, 32.

    October 4, 2017

  • Do you remember an inn, Miranda?

    And a big fruity hat, Miranda?

    Be careful how you answer, Miranda!

    Because anything that you say may be used in evidence against you, Miranda!

    March 24, 2009

  • What's that expression the cops are supposed use as a caution ...

    anything you do say can and will be used against you.

    Wordie's like that sometimes.

    March 24, 2009

  • That's it. No more G & T's for pilpy!

    March 24, 2009

  • No.

    March 24, 2009

  • nugatory, and a glass of quinine...

    August 2, 2008

  • That is correct.

    December 7, 2006

  • This is what gives tonic water that funny taste I think.

    December 7, 2006