Definition of theobromine in English:


Pronunciation /ˌTHēəˈbrōmēn/ /ˌθiəˈbroʊmin/ /ˌTHēəˈbrōmən/ /ˌθiəˈbroʊmən/


  • A bitter, volatile compound obtained from cacao seeds. It is an alkaloid resembling caffeine in its physiological effects.

    Chemical formula: C₇H₈N₄O₂

    ‘Caffeine and theobromine are two naturally occurring alkaloids that are present in plants used to brew beverages in many cultures.’
    • ‘Alkaloids have been described as components of plant defence responses and the two main alkaloids found in cocoa are caffeine and theobromine.’
    • ‘Cocoa contains theobromine, an alkaloid that penetrates the skin to the subcutaneous fat layer and may help stimulate the release of stored fat.’
    • ‘There is no caffeine in chocolate, though a related compound, theobromine, is present.’
    • ‘Using a machine called a mass spectrometer, Hurst identified the compound theobromine in some of that residue.’
    • ‘The chocolate loved by humans is made from cocoa beans and contains a chemical called theobromine which, in high concentrations, can affect a dog's heart, lungs and central nervous system.’


Mid 19th century from modern Latin Theobroma (genus name, from Greek theos ‘god’ and brōma ‘food’) + -ine.