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1. (Science: physiology) A crystalline nitrogenous body closely related to both uric acid and hypoxanthin, present in muscle tissue, and occasionally found in the urine and in some urinary calculi. It is also present in guano. So called from the yellow colour of certain of its salts (nitrates).

2. (Science: chemistry) A yellow insoluble colouring matter extracted from yellow flowers; specifically, the colouring matter of madder. [Formerly written also xanthein.

3. (Science: chemistry) One of the gaseous or volatile decomposition products of the xanthates, and probably identical with carbon disulphide.

Origin: Gr. Xanqos = yellow.

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