Definition of coumarin in US English:



  • 1A vanilla-scented compound found in many plants, formerly used for flavoring food.

    A bicyclic lactone; chemical formula: C₉H₆O₂

    • ‘We modeled the modified complex by replacing the guanine in the native structure with coumarin and allowing rotation about the glycosidic bond.’
    • ‘The spectrum of coumarin in uncomplexed DNA is shown as the solid curve.’
    • ‘The benefit of benzopyrones, such as coumarin or flavonoids, remains unproved.’
    • ‘Plants make coumarin from an amino acid, phenylalanine.’
    • ‘In this assay a series of sample mixtures with a fixed protein concentration and increasing coumarin concentrations are injected.’
    1. 1.1 Any derivative of coumarin.
      • ‘They smell like sandalwood, jasmine and honeyed-clove, with touches of coumarin and vanilla.’
      • ‘Herbal medications that may increase the risk of bleeding if used concurrently with ginkgo include the following: feverfew, garlic, ginseng, dong quai, red clover, and other natural coumarins.’
      • ‘And sweet clovers aren't the only greens using coumarins.’
      • ‘Because of the presence of coumarins in some clover species, including Trifolium pratense, tests of clotting factors in future trials may be prudent.’
      • ‘The most widely used oral anticoagulants are coumarin derivatives.’


Mid 19th century: from French coumarine, from coumarou, via Portuguese and Spanish from Tupi cumarú ‘tonka bean’.