from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of several yellow carotenoid pigments, including lutein and zeaxanthin, produced by plants and green algae and visible in the leaves of deciduous trees in the autumn. Xanthophylls are also present in some animal tissues such as egg yolks.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun organic chemistry, countable Any of various hydroxy, carbonyl or carboxylic acid derivatives of carotenes.
  • noun organic chemistry, uncountable Alternative name for lutein.

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

  • noun yellow carotenoid pigments in plants and animal fats and egg yolks


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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



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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