do·​pa ˈdō-pə How to pronounce dopa (audio)
: a phenolic amino acid C9H11NO4 occurring naturally (as in fava beans) or prepared synthetically (as from tyrosine) compare l-dopa

Examples of dopa in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Yet with time and training, the kittens were able to walk again on treadmills, without any L-dopa or electrode stimulation at all. Nate Berg, Discover Magazine, 28 May 2013 Even so, the amount of L-dopa that actually reaches its destination varies widely from patient to patient for reasons that only recently became clear. Claudia Wallis, Scientific American, 1 Jan. 2020 Balskus and her team, meanwhile, are testing a molecule that would stop bacteria from breaking down L-dopa. Claudia Wallis, Scientific American, 1 Jan. 2020 As a result, for CNS diseases like Parkinson’s disease, physicians are limited to prescribing symptomatic treatments like L-dopa and a long list of drugs developed more than 50 years ago for psychiatric disorders. Amar Dhand, STAT, 26 June 2019 Noradrenaline is synthesized in the body from dopamine, which in turn is metabolized from L-dopa. Denise Gellene,, 2 July 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dopa.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


International Scientific Vocabulary dihydroxy- + phenylalanine

First Known Use

1917, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of dopa was in 1917

Dictionary Entries Near dopa

Cite this Entry

“Dopa.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2024.

Medical Definition


: an amino acid C9H11NO4 that in the levorotatory form is found in the broad bean and is used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease

called also dihydroxyphenylalanine

More from Merriam-Webster on dopa

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!