Definition of theobromine in English:



  • A bitter, volatile compound obtained from cacao seeds. It is an alkaloid resembling caffeine in its physiological effects.

    • ‘Cocoa contains theobromine, an alkaloid that penetrates the skin to the subcutaneous fat layer and may help stimulate the release of stored fat.’
    • ‘The chocolate loved by humans is made from cocoa beans and contains a chemical called theobromine which, in high concentrations, can affect a dog's heart, lungs and central nervous system.’
    • ‘There is no caffeine in chocolate, though a related compound, theobromine, is present.’
    • ‘Alkaloids have been described as components of plant defence responses and the two main alkaloids found in cocoa are caffeine and theobromine.’
    • ‘Using a machine called a mass spectrometer, Hurst identified the compound theobromine in some of that residue.’
    • ‘Caffeine and theobromine are two naturally occurring alkaloids that are present in plants used to brew beverages in many cultures.’


Mid 19th century: from modern Latin Theobroma (genus name, from Greek theos god and brōma food) + -ine.