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Clear, colourless, heavy, nonflammable liquid organic compound with a pleasant etherlike odour, chemical formula CHCl. It was the first substance successfully used as a surgical anesthetic (1847); being somewhat toxic, it has been increasingly displaced by other substances for this purpose. It has some industrial uses, primarily as a solvent.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on chloroform, visit Britannica.com.