qui·​nine | \ ˈkwī-ˌnīn How to pronounce quinine (audio) also ˈkwi- How to pronounce quinine (audio) or kwi-ˈnīn or ki-ˈnēn or kwi-ˈnēn \

Definition of quinine

1 : a bitter crystalline alkaloid C20H24N2O2 from cinchona bark used in medicine
2 : a salt of quinine used especially as an antipyretic, antimalarial, and bitter tonic

Examples of quinine in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web There’s also wild quinine and compass plant with leaves that align north to south. Susan Degrane, chicagotribune.com, "Bring on the butterflies: Beverly area schools, residents, businesses join effort to Save the Monarchs," 13 Apr. 2021 The faction who believed in contagion advocated cold baths and quinine—proven against malaria—and imbibing alcohol, as it was believed to fortify the body. Alicia Ault, Smithsonian Magazine, "How the Politics of Race Played Out During the 1793 Yellow Fever Epidemic," 3 Mar. 2021 In his day, there was little to offer the sick in the way of effective medicines—beyond, say, opiates or quinine—and few vaccines were available. Brooke Jarvis, The New Yorker, "What Happens When You Breathe," 18 Jan. 2021 In 1820 French chemists discovered how to extract quinine from cinchona. The Economist, "Bloodsuckers How malaria has shaped humanity," 16 Dec. 2020 By 1900 the Dutch were producing more than 5,000 tonnes of quinine a year. The Economist, "Bloodsuckers How malaria has shaped humanity," 16 Dec. 2020 When World War II denied the US access to both German drugs and the quinine-producing cinchona trees of Java, the Americans basically stole a recipe from German prisoners of war and turned that into a successful treatment. Adam Rogers, Wired, "The Strange and Twisted Tale of Hydroxychloroquine," 11 Nov. 2020 The premium light tonic is citrus forward with balanced quinine. Dallas News, "Hooked on tonics: How tonic water went from medicinal to trendy cocktail mixer," 28 Aug. 2020 Natural high quinine, with botanicals, sweetened with cane sugar. Dallas News, "Hooked on tonics: How tonic water went from medicinal to trendy cocktail mixer," 28 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'quinine.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of quinine

1825, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for quinine

Spanish quina cinchona, from Quechua kina bark

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Time Traveler for quinine

Time Traveler

The first known use of quinine was in 1825

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Statistics for quinine

Last Updated

21 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Quinine.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quinine. Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for quinine



English Language Learners Definition of quinine

: a drug that is made from the bark of a tree and used especially to treat malaria


qui·​nine | \ ˈkwī-ˌnīn How to pronounce quinine (audio) \

Kids Definition of quinine

: a bitter drug obtained from cinchona bark and used to treat malaria


qui·​nine | \ ˈkwī-ˌnīn also ˈkwin-ˌīn, especially British kwin-ˈēn, ˈkwin-ēn \

Medical Definition of quinine

: a bitter crystalline alkaloid C20H24N2O2 obtained from cinchona bark that is used as a flavoring agent, has antipyretic and analgesic properties, and is administered orally in the form of its salts (as the hydrated sulfate (C20H24N2O2)2·H2SO4·2H2O) as an antimalarial

More from Merriam-Webster on quinine

Nglish: Translation of quinine for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about quinine

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