Definition of alkaloid in English:

Share this entry

alkaloid

Pronunciation: /ˈalkəlɔɪd/

noun

Chemistry
Any of a class of nitrogenous organic compounds of plant origin which have pronounced physiological actions on humans. They include many drugs (morphine, quinine) and poisons (atropine, strychnine).
Example sentences
  • Other important alkaloids are caffeine, ricinine, and quinine.
  • Morphine is an alkaloid, meaning that it is an organic compound that contains carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen, and forms a water-soluble salt.
  • This material is a complex mixture of about 20 different alkaloids or nitrogen containing organic bases.

Origin

Early 19th century: coined in German from alkali.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: al¦kal|oid

Share this entry
 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.