caf·feine also caf·fein (kă-fēn, kăfēn′)
A bitter white alkaloid, C8H10N4O2, found in certain plants such as cacao, coffee, kola, and tea, that stimulates the central nervous system and body metabolism and is used in medicine, usually in combination with other drugs, to relieve headaches and treat respiratory conditions in premature infants.
[German Kaffein (from Kaffee, coffee) or French caféine, both from French café, coffee; see CAFé.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.