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xanthine A purine, intermediate in the metabolism of adenine and guanine to uric acid. Caffeine (in coffee and tea) is 1,3,7‐trimethylxanthine; theophylline (in tea) is 1,3‐dimethylxanthine; theobromine (in cocoa) is 3,7‐dimethylxanthine.

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xanthine (zanth-een) n. a nitrogenous breakdown product of the purines adenosine and guanine. Xanthine is an intermediate product of the breakdown of nucleic acids to uric acid.