Definition of quinine in English:


Pronunciation: /ˈkwɪniːn//kwɪˈniːn/


  • [mass noun] A bitter crystalline compound present in cinchona bark, used as a tonic and formerly as an antimalarial drug.

    • ‘The cinchona tree contains more than 20 alkaloids of which quinine and quinidine are the most important.’
    • ‘The two most important groups of drugs for malaria treatment are still based on quinine or artemisinin.’
    • ‘Other important alkaloids are caffeine, ricinine, and quinine.’
    • ‘But quinine may not be the best antimalarial treatment.’
    • ‘In 1820, the single chemical quinine was isolated from the bark.’
    • ‘Her treatment was changed to intravenous quinine 600 mg every 12 hours, and she was transferred to the local intensive care unit.’
    • ‘One doctor told me to drink tonic water for its quinine, but it doesn't seem to help.’
    • ‘Whether artemisinins given by any route should be replacing quinine as the initial treatment of choice for severe malaria in Africa remains an open question.’
    • ‘Medical breakthroughs, including sulfa drugs, penicillin, and quinine, were also a consequence of the war.’
    • ‘He was treated with intravenous doxycycline in a dosage of 100 mg twice daily and oral quinine in a dosage of 650 mg twice daily for three days.’
    • ‘I believe at that time we were taking a variant of quinine called mepacrine, a little yellow pill which turned us a delicate shade of buttercup, and when we went on leave our friends and relatives thought we had jaundice.’
    • ‘One of the gold standard therapies for a long time was a drug called quinine, and that was a medication that was used for prophylaxis against malaria.’
    • ‘Some people drink tonic water with quinine to get the drug without the prescription.’
    • ‘The stereochemistry of quinine is formidable: it has four chiral centres, and thus 16 stereoisomers - of which only one is the natural ingredient of cinchona bark.’
    • ‘The patient was treated with quinine sulfate and tetracycline for 7 days.’
    • ‘Doctors treat malaria by using anti-malarial drugs, such as chloroquine or quinine.’
    • ‘My doctor prescribed quinine, which for me is a sure-fire solution.’
    • ‘For many years the treatment of malaria in Africa has relied on chloroquine, sulfadoxine combined with pyrimethamine, and quinine, with the latter being used mainly to treat severe cases.’
    • ‘I was drinking large quantities of tonic water, which contains quinine, when this started.’


Early 19th century: from Spanish quina cinchona bark (from Quechua kina bark) + -ine.