ac·​et·​al·​de·​hyde ˌa-sə-ˈtal-də-ˌhīd How to pronounce acetaldehyde (audio)
: a colorless volatile water-soluble liquid aldehyde C2H4O used chiefly in organic synthesis

Examples of acetaldehyde in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Enlarge / Red wine headache (RWH) might be caused by quercetin, which inhibits an enzyme that processes acetaldehyde in the blood. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 20 Nov. 2023 Avoid Tobacco Smoking can increase levels of acetaldehyde in your body (which also may raise your cancer risk). Jake Parks, Discover Magazine, 25 Nov. 2023 Disulfiram also makes acetaldehyde from drinking alcohol build up when an enzyme in the body would usually break it down. Laura Baisas, Popular Science, 23 Nov. 2023 In the second step, the acetaldehyde becomes acetic acid. Stephanie Breijo, Los Angeles Times, 22 Nov. 2023 That research, a small human clinical trial funded by the Wine Spectator Scholarship Foundation and led by UCSF, intends to determine why some people are more susceptible to these headaches than others and if quercetin or acetaldehyde is the primary target for ameliorating these effects. Sara Moniuszko, CBS News, 20 Nov. 2023 It was also found that e-cigarettes contain a number of dangerous chemicals including acetaldehyde, acrolein and formaldehyde. Karen Garcia, Los Angeles Times, 8 Nov. 2023 Excessive acetaldehyde can also cause headaches and nausea. Bill Sullivan, Discover Magazine, 10 Oct. 2019 What is acetaldehyde? Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY, 13 Apr. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'acetaldehyde.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from German Acetaldehyd, from acet- acet- + Aldehyd aldehyde

First Known Use

1857, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of acetaldehyde was in 1857

Dictionary Entries Near acetaldehyde

Cite this Entry

“Acetaldehyde.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition


ac·​et·​al·​de·​hyde ˌas-ə-ˈtal-də-ˌhīd How to pronounce acetaldehyde (audio)
: a colorless volatile water-soluble liquid aldehyde C2H4O used chiefly in organic synthesis that can cause irritation to mucous membranes

More from Merriam-Webster on acetaldehyde

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