from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A colorless alkaloid, C22H23O4N, which crystallizes in Iustrous prisms and melts at 228° C. It is contained in opium and is closely related to narcotine.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Chem.) An alkaloid existing in small quantities in opium.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun organic chemistry An alkaloid found in small quantities in opium.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Ancient Greek "to know" + English opium + -ine?


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  • He has solved the riddle of the morphine molecule's structure, in connection with which quite 20 different formulae have been under consideration, he has clarified the essential features of the strychnine formula, even though some details are still uncertain, and he has made decisive contributions towards the investigation of many other alkaloids with strangely sounding names like gnoscopine, harmaline, physostigmine, and rutaecarpine.

    Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1947 - Presentation Speech 1964


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