Definition of anthraquinone in US English:



  • A yellow crystalline compound obtained by oxidation of anthracene. It is the basis of many natural and synthetic dyes.

    Chemical formula: C₁₄H₈O₂

    • ‘The appearance of such photochemical by-products as dianthracene and anthraquinone was monitored throughout the irradiation experiments.’
    • ‘The preparation of anthraquinone used in the National Toxicology Program cancer bioassay was contaminated with the mutagen 9-nitroanthracene’
    • ‘Aloe emodin is an anthraquinone derivative similar in structure to the known photodynamic sensitizer hypericin.’
    • ‘The new algicide, the subject of a patent application, uses a product derivative based on the natural compound anthraquinone, found in rye grass.’
    • ‘Their action is due to free anthraquinones, that is to say anthraquinone glycosides called sennosides, of which several types have been identified.’


Late 19th century: from anthra(cene) + quinone.