Definition of adenine in English:



  • A compound which is one of the four constituent bases of nucleic acids. A purine derivative, it is paired with thymine in double-stranded DNA.

    Alternative name: 6-aminopurine; chemical formula: C₅H₅N₅

    ‘There are four types of nucleotides in DNA, each containing one of four bases - adenine, guanine, cytosine, or thymine.’
    • ‘Causes and effects The structure of thalidomide is similar to that of the DNA purine bases adenine and guanine.’
    • ‘The strands consist of sugar and phosphate groups, the sugars being attached to a base - adenine, thymine, guanine, or cytosine.’
    • ‘These bases are adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine and can be represented as A, C, G, and T, respectively.’
    • ‘The nitrogen-containing units are the bases: adenine, cytosine, guanine, and uracil.’



/ˈadnˌēn/ /ˈædnˌin/


Late 19th century coined in German from Greek adēn ‘gland’+ -ine.