: a light volatile pungent flammable poisonous liquid alcohol CH3OH formed in the destructive distillation of wood or made synthetically and used especially as a solvent, antifreeze, or denaturant for ethyl alcohol and in the synthesis of other chemicals—called also carbinol, methyl alcohol, wood alcohol
Simplest of the alcohols, chemical formula CHOH. Once produced by destructive distillation of wood, it is now usually made from the methane in natural gas. Methanol is an important industrial material; its derivatives are used in great quantities for making a vast number of compounds, among them many important synthetic dyes, resins, drugs, and perfumes. It is also used in automotive antifreezes, in rocket fuels, and as a solvent. It is flammable and explosive. A clean-burning fuel, it may substitute (at least in part) for gasoline. It is also used for denaturation of ethanol. A violent poison, it causes blindness and eventually death when drunk.