Definition of quinine in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈkwɪniːn/
Pronunciation: /kwɪˈniːn/


[mass noun]
A bitter crystalline compound present in cinchona bark, used as a tonic and formerly as an antimalarial drug.
  • An alkaloid; chemical formula: C20H24N2O2.
Example sentences
  • Some people drink tonic water with quinine to get the drug without the prescription.
  • Doctors treat malaria by using anti-malarial drugs, such as chloroquine or quinine.
  • For many years the treatment of malaria in Africa has relied on chloroquine, sulfadoxine combined with pyrimethamine, and quinine, with the latter being used mainly to treat severe cases.


Early 19th century: from Spanish quina 'cinchona bark' (from Quechua kina 'bark') + -ine4.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: quin|ine

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.