noun[mass noun] Chemistry
A bitter crystalline compound present in small quantities in tea leaves, isomeric with theobromine.
- Three very similar compounds - all in this same group of alkaloids - are present in common beverages, namely caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine.
- Two related xanthines, theobromine and theophylline, are often present in smaller amounts.
- It contains not only caffeine but also theophylline, a compound that can ease the symptoms of a cold.
Late 19th century: from modern Latin Thea (former genus name of the tea plant, from Dutch thee) + Greek phullon 'leaf' + -ine4.
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Line breaks: theo|phyl¦line
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