Definition of theophylline in English:

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Pronunciation: /θɪəˈfɪliːn/
Pronunciation: /θɪəˈfɪlɪn/


[mass noun] Chemistry
A bitter crystalline compound present in small quantities in tea leaves, isomeric with theobromine.
Example sentences
  • 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.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: theo|phyl¦line

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