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Any of a class of aromatic compounds with a six-member aromatic ring composed of five carbon atoms and one nitrogen atom, making it a heterocyclic compound. The simplest one is pyridine itself (CHN). Natural compounds with pyridine rings include niacin and pyridoxine (seevitamin B complex), the tuberculosis drug isoniazid, and several plant products (e.g., nicotine). Pyridine is used as a raw material for various drugs, vitamins, and fungicides and as a solvent. Because it has a nauseating odour and a burning taste, it is added to ethanol and antifreezes to make them undrinkable (seedenaturation).
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on pyridine, visit Britannica.com.