van·​il·​lin | \ ˈva-nə-lən How to pronounce vanillin (audio) \

Definition of vanillin

: a crystalline phenolic aldehyde C8H8O3 that is extracted from vanilla beans or prepared synthetically and is used especially in flavoring and in perfumery

Examples of vanillin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web One of the substances with the lowest odor detection threshold is vanillin, the main component of vanilla extract. Randall Munroe, New York Times, 17 Feb. 2020 Both are based on vanillin, a flavor compound that is also naturally present in wood, and that makes up about 2.5 percent of true vanilla’s flavor. Lior Lev Sercarz, Saveur, 3 Oct. 2016 In these air conditions, the researchers multiplied the vanillin content of an approximately 79 milliliter puff of vapor by over 12,000, Andrews said. Abigail Brone,, 30 July 2019 One recent study from Yale University found that vanillin — an extract of the vanilla bean — transforms into chemicals called acetals when aerosolized. NBC News, 3 Sep. 2019 Soaked into three small jugs recovered at a site in Megiddo was a sweet surprise: two of the main chemicals in vanilla—4-hydroxybenzaldehyde and vanillin, a compound that forms tiny white crystals on the pod’s surface as the bean ferments. Franz Lidz, Smithsonian, 11 July 2019 Tong’s investigation arrives on the heels of a Yale study, which highlights some of the unknown dangers of vanillin, a popular e-liquid flavoring. Michael Hamad,, 6 Aug. 2019 The enzymes that transform the glucovanillin in the plant into vanillin – the molecule that gives vanilla its distinctive aroma – emerge only through curing. The Economist, 5 July 2019 Finkelstein thinks the vanillin probably arrived in the Middle East through extensive Bronze Age trade routes. Franz Lidz, Smithsonian, 11 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vanillin.' 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 vanillin

circa 1868, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for vanillin

borrowed from French vanilline, from vanille vanilla entry 1 + -ine -in entry 1

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Time Traveler for vanillin

Time Traveler

The first known use of vanillin was circa 1868

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Cite this Entry

“Vanillin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for vanillin


van·​il·​lin | \ ˈvan-ᵊl-ən How to pronounce vanillin (audio) \

Medical Definition of vanillin

: a crystalline phenolic aldehyde C8H8O3 that is prepared synthetically or is obtained as the chief fragrant component of vanilla extracted from vanilla beans and that is used especially in flavoring and in perfumery

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