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Any of various unsaturated hydrocarbons, C10H16, found in essential oils and oleoresins of plants such as conifers and used in organic syntheses.

[Obsolete terp(entine), variant of turpentine + -ene.]

ter·pe′nic adj.
ter′pe·noid′ adj. & n.


(Elements & Compounds) any one of a class of unsaturated hydrocarbons, such as the carotenes, that are found in the essential oils of many plants. Their molecules contain isoprene units and have the general formula (C5H8)n
[C19: terp- from obsolete terpentine turpentine + -ene]
terˈpenic adj


(ˈtɜr pin)

1. any of a class of monocyclic hydrocarbons of the formula C10H16, obtained from plants.
2. any of the oxygenated derivatives of this class.
[1870–75; terp(entine), earlier sp. of turpentine + -ene]
ter•pe′nic, adj.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.terpene - an unsaturated hydrocarbon obtained from plants
hydrocarbon - an organic compound containing only carbon and hydrogen
limonene - a liquid terpene with a lemon odor; found in lemons and oranges and other essential oils
References in periodicals archive ?
OPA is a sesterterpenoid secondary metabolite isolated from pathogenic fungi of the Bipolaris genus [127] (Figure 5).
Ophiobolin A (OP-A), a sesterterpenoid that is produced by the plant pathogenic fungi, was purified from the culture extract of Drechslera gigantea and characterized to be an effective phytotoxin [72, 73].
A novel sesterterpenoid, nitiol, as a potent enhancer of il-2 gene expression in a human T cell line, from the Peruvian folk medicine "Hercumpuri" (Gentianella nitida).