Definition of coumarin in English:


Pronunciation /ˈko͞om(ə)rən/ /ˈkum(ə)rən/


  • 1Chemistry
    A vanilla-scented compound found in many plants, formerly used for flavoring food.

    A bicyclic lactone; chemical formula: C₉H₆O₂

    ‘Plants make coumarin from an amino acid, phenylalanine.’
    • ‘The spectrum of coumarin in uncomplexed DNA is shown as the solid curve.’
    • ‘In this assay a series of sample mixtures with a fixed protein concentration and increasing coumarin concentrations are injected.’
    • ‘We modeled the modified complex by replacing the guanine in the native structure with coumarin and allowing rotation about the glycosidic bond.’
    • ‘The benefit of benzopyrones, such as coumarin or flavonoids, remains unproved.’
    1. 1.1Any derivative of coumarin.
      ‘Because of the presence of coumarins in some clover species, including Trifolium pratense, tests of clotting factors in future trials may be prudent.’
      • ‘Herbal medications that may increase the risk of bleeding if used concurrently with ginkgo include the following: feverfew, garlic, ginseng, dong quai, red clover, and other natural coumarins.’
      • ‘And sweet clovers aren't the only greens using coumarins.’
      • ‘The most widely used oral anticoagulants are coumarin derivatives.’
      • ‘They smell like sandalwood, jasmine and honeyed-clove, with touches of coumarin and vanilla.’


Mid 19th century from French coumarine, from coumarou, via Portuguese and Spanish from Tupi cumarú ‘tonka bean’.