One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A yellowish crystalline compound, whose molecule contains two benzene rings joined by a methylene group and an oxygen atom, and whose derivatives include brilliant, often fluorescent, dyes such as fluorescein and rhodamines.
Chemical formula: C₁₃H₁₀O
- ‘Some other dye systems are based on the chromophores triphenylmethane, xanthene, anthroquinone, indigo, and phthalocyanine.’
Late 19th century: from Greek xanthos ‘yellow’ + -ene.
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