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cinchona definition


This page has 3 definitions of cinchona in English. Cinchona is a noun. Also define these 18 related words and terms: tree, shrub, genus, Cinchona, Andes, South America, Indonesia, India, bark, quinquina, plant, quinine, alkaloid, fever, malaria, Jesuit's bark, Peruvian bark, and medicine.

See also: Cinchona


cinchona bark

Alternative forms


From New Latin cinchona, from Spanish Chinchón. Named by Carl Linnaeus after Ana de Osorio, 4th Countess of Chinchón (1599–1625), the wife of the Spanish Viceroy of Peru, who was allegedly cured of a fever by the bark.



cinchona (countable and uncountable, plural cinchonas)

  1. A tree or shrub of the genus Cinchona, native to the Andes in South America but since widely cultivated in Indonesia and India as well for its medicinal bark.
    Synonym: quinquina
    • 2001, Leslie Iversen, Drugs: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford 2001, p. 8)
      German chemists were the first to isolate pure drug chemicals from herbal medicines, with the isolation of morphine from crude opium in 1803 and quinine from the bark of the cinchona tree in 1820.
    • Tree definition
      A perennial woody plant, not exactly defined, but differentiated from a shrub by its larger size (typically over a few meters in height) or growth habit, usually having a single (or few) main axis or trunk unbranched for some distance above the ground and a head of branches and foliage. (1 of 16 tree definitions)
    • Shrub definition
      A woody plant smaller than a tree, and usually with several stems from the same base.
    • Quinquina definition
      Synonym of cinchona in all its senses.
  2. The bark of these plants, which yield quinine and other alkaloids useful in reducing fevers and particularly in combatting malaria.
    Synonyms: cinchona-bark, Jesuit's bark, Peruvian bark, quinquina
    • Plant definition
      An organism that is not an animal, especially an organism capable of photosynthesis. Typically a small or herbaceous organism of this kind, rather than a tree. (1 of 15 plant definitions)
    • Peruvian Bark definition
      Cinchona bark, chiefly as used in medicine.
  3. (medicine) Any medicine chiefly composed of the prepared bark of these plants.

Derived terms

  • cinchonal
  • cinchona red

Related terms


Further reading