Definition of usnic acid in English:

usnic acid

Syllabification: us·nic ac·id
Pronunciation: /ˌəsnik ˈasid


  • A yellow crystalline compound that is present in many lichens and is used as an antibiotic.
    • A tricyclic phenol; chemical formula: C18H16O7
    More example sentences
    • Bitter orange, aristolochic acid and usnic acid are all used for weight loss.
    • Although several synthetic compounds inhibit this key pigment enzyme, the scientists found that usnic acid was over 10 times more effective than others tested.
    • I don't know anyone else who's working on the toxicity of usnic acid besides me.


mid 19th century: usnic from medieval Latin usnea (from Arabic ushnah 'moss') + -ic.

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