- a white, crystalline, nitrogenous compound, CHNO, resembling uric acid: it is present in blood, urine, and certain plants
- any of various derivatives of this compound
Origin of xanthineFr: see xantho- and amp; -in
- A yellowish-white, crystalline purine base, C5H4N4O2, that is a precursor of uric acid and is found in blood, urine, muscle tissue, and certain plants.
- Any of several derivatives of this compound.
- There is much confusion between this word and xanthein, and they are often interchanged.
From French xanthine, ultimately from Ancient Greek ξανθός (xanthós), "yellow", because xanthine is yellowish-white.