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

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 GIN AND TONIC originated in India as a more palatable way for Victorian colonialists to down the bitter quinine that protected them against malaria. The Economist, "A new spirit Indian gin measures up," 24 Oct. 2019 Villagers make quinine from the bark of the native knobwood trees, and gondolosi roots are collected to sell as an aphrodisiac in the markets of Mutare. Peter Browne, Condé Nast Traveler, "A Slow Safari Along Zimbabwe’s Back Roads," 20 Dec. 2019 The sweet, dark-golden beverage is a mix of white tea, white cranberry, and ginger, with a hit of bitterness from quinine that tastes a lot like a spritzer. Kate Krader | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "What Drinks to Serve Non-Drinkers This Thanksgiving," 28 Nov. 2019 More impressively, the bees who knew about the quinine consequence correctly chose the four-shape image when paired with a five-shape image 59% of the time, despite the tricky distinction. Scottie Andrew, CNN, "Bees are better at math when they're punished for the wrong answer, a new study finds," 11 Oct. 2019 The chemicals used to process quinine are costly and come by lorry from Tanzania. The Economist, "Eastern Congo has the world’s largest quinine plantations," 8 June 2019 Cocchi Americano, an aperitif wine that contains an element called quinine that gives tonic water its bitter flavor, adds interesting dimension to this drink. Jackie Burrell, The Mercury News, "Oakland cocktail maven Ashley Rose Conway on rosé cocktails, summer parties," 5 July 2019 The bark of these trees, which were introduced by the Belgians, contains quinine, a drug that cures malaria. The Economist, "Eastern Congo has the world’s largest quinine plantations," 8 June 2019 Huguette was told she had malaria, and received the customary quinine treatment for five days. Rachel Jones, National Geographic, "Life amid an Ebola outbreak: Combating mistrust—and saving lives," 23 May 2019

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

14 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Quinine.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quinine. Accessed 10 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for quinine


How to pronounce quinine (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on quinine

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with quinine

Spanish Central: Translation of quinine

Nglish: Translation of quinine for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about quinine

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