Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A yellow carotenoid pigment, C40H56O2, found with chlorophyll in green plants and identical with lutein.
  • n. Any of various related yellow pigments.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of various hydroxy, carbonyl or carboxylic acid derivatives of carotenes.
  • n. Alternative name for lutein.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A yellow coloring matter found in yellow autumn leaves, and also produced artificially from chlorophyll; -- formerly called also phylloxanthin.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. yellow carotenoid pigments in plants and animal fats and egg yolks

Etymologies

From xantho- (from Ancient Greek ξανθός (xanthos, "yellow")) + -phyll (from φύλλος (phyllos, "leaf")). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • "A question that children ask all the time is why do leaves on trees change color in the Fall? Inside each leaf are millions of packages of color. Chlorophyll is contained in the green packages, xanthophyll in the yellow and the orange packages are carotene."
    - RJ Evans, 'Love Me or Leaf Me: The Secret Life of Leaves', 13 Sep 2008.

    September 23, 2008