<physiology> A nitrogenous base, C5H5N, obtained from the distillation of bone oil or coal tar, and by the decomposition of certain alkaloids, as a colourless liquid with a peculiar pungent odour. It is the nucleus of a large number of organic substances, among which several vegetable alkaloids, as nicotine and certain of the ptomaines, may be mentioned. See Lutidine.
Origin: From Gr. Fire.
(01 Mar 1998)
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