Resumo em inglês Hydantoin (imidazolidine-2,4-dione) is a 2,4-diketotetrahydroimidazole discovered by Baeyer in 1861. Thiohydantoins and derivatives were prepared, having chemical properties similar to the corresponding carbonyl compounds. Some biological activities (antimicrobial, anticonvulsant, schistosomicidal) are attributed to the chemical reactivity and consequent affinity of hydantoinic rings towards biomacromolecules. Therefore, knowledge about the chemistry of hydantoins has inc (mais) reased enormously. In this review, we present important aspects such as reactivity of hydantoins, acidity of hydantoins, spectroscopy and cristallographic properties, and biological activities of hydantoin and its derivatives.