qui·​nine ˈkwī-ˌnīn How to pronounce quinine (audio)
ˈkwi- How to pronounce quinine (audio)
 or  kwi-ˈnīn,
 or  ki-ˈnēn,
 or  kwi-ˈnēn
: a bitter crystalline alkaloid C20H24N2O2 from cinchona bark used in medicine
: a salt of quinine used especially as an antipyretic, antimalarial, and bitter tonic

Examples of quinine in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The primary difference between the types of water is the addition of quinine in tonic water. Alison Mango, Health, 1 June 2024 The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert In 19th-century Philadelphia, Alma Whitaker, the daughter of a wealthy quinine merchant, studies the phenomena of the natural world as a talented botanist. Mia Barzilay Freund, Vogue, 29 Mar. 2024 The ingredients vary, but generally include quinine, wormwood, citrus peel, vanilla, gentian root, thyme, ginger, and baking spices. Jason Wilson, Travel + Leisure, 3 Dec. 2023 This tour of the world's toxins includes obvious candidates such as cocaine and nicotine but also substances less likely to be viewed as poisons: quinine, caffeine and cinnamon. Amy Brady, Scientific American, 1 Oct. 2023 See all Example Sentences for quinine 

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

Word History


Spanish quina cinchona, from Quechua kina bark

First Known Use

1825, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of quinine was in 1825

Dictionary Entries Near quinine

Cite this Entry

“Quinine.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quinine. Accessed 20 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


qui·​nine ˈkwī-ˌnīn How to pronounce quinine (audio)
 also  ˈkwin-ˌīn
: a bitter white drug obtained from cinchona bark and used especially to treat malaria

Medical Definition


ˈkwī-ˌnīn also ˈkwin-ˌīn, especially British kwin-ˈēn, ˈkwin-ēn
: 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

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