Definition of saccharin in US English:



  • A sweet-tasting synthetic compound used in food and drink as a substitute for sugar.

    Alternative name: o-sulfobenzoic imide; chemical formula: C₇H₅NO₃S

    • ‘Concluding that the animal studies aren't applicable to humans, the government removed saccharin from its official list of cancer-causing agents earlier this year.’
    • ‘In the United States, four artificial sweeteners are approved for use: saccharin, aspartame, sucralose, and acesulfame-K.’
    • ‘For years I've been blaming it on middle age, poor blood, lack of vitamins, air pollution, saccharin, obesity, dieting, underarm odour, yellow wax buildup and other maladies that make you wonder if life is really worth living.’
    • ‘A number of artificial sweeteners, including saccharin, have been around for a long time.’
    • ‘The only non-sugar sweetener at present licensed for use in most countries is saccharin, a synthetic substance made from coal tar.’
    • ‘An ex-editor of Food Technology in NZ, with a recent degree in human nutrition, she was not keen on artificial sweeteners like saccharin and aspartame and wanted a natural product.’
    • ‘‘While it's reasonable to question natural ingredients as well, I won't use artificial colors and sweeteners, saccharin or preservatives if I have an alternative,’ he says.’
    • ‘The rats died - the more saccharin they drank the faster they died.’
    • ‘Pressure groups have asked the government to ban aspartame and saccharin and hydrogenated fat and oil from our foods and their response has been that there isn't enough conclusive evidence.’
    • ‘Are saccharin, formaldehyde insulation, pesticides, PCBs and bovine growth hormone perfectly safe?’
    • ‘The rats exhibited behavioral changes even when sugar was replaced with the artificial sweetener saccharin.’
    • ‘He said that the only safe sweeteners are saccharin and stevia.’
    • ‘How can stevia ever fairly compete with artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame and saccharin, when the latter two are allowed to be called sweeteners?’
    • ‘Diet drinks can be even worse than non-diet, because they contain saccharin which provokes hyperactivity even more.’
    • ‘Hence, doctors have to pay special attention to prescribe sugar-free solutions (containing such non-cariogenic sweeteners as xylitol, saccharin, and sorbitol) whenever possible.’
    • ‘But rats will also learn to prefer sugar over saccharin when they can't taste the flavors in their mouths - when the researchers infuse the syrupy stuff directly into their bellies.’
    • ‘It is not saccharin nor aspartame, but a relatively new product, having only been introduced to America in 1998.’
    • ‘Most mainstream toothpastes and mouthwashes contain artificial flavors and colors, saccharin, bleaches and other synthetic ingredients that can have adverse effects on oral - and overall - health.’


Late 19th century: from modern Latin saccharum ‘sugar’ + -in.