acetonitrile

noun
ace·​to·​ni·​trile | \ ə-ˌsē-tō-ˈnī-trəl How to pronounce acetonitrile (audio) , ˌa-sə-tō-, -ˌtrī(-ə)l\

Definition of acetonitrile

: the colorless liquid nitrile CH3CN of acetic acid used chiefly in organic synthesis and as a solvent

Examples of acetonitrile in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

To identify the unique neurotoxin, the biologists cut out the venom ducts from several snails, froze them, pulverized them, and then extracted the peptides from the pulp with a mixture of water and the solvent acetonitrile. Aaron Rowe, WIRED, "Powerful New Poison found in Deadly Sea Snails," 11 July 2007

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'acetonitrile.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of acetonitrile

1848, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for acetonitrile

borrowed from German Acetonitril, from aceto- aceto- + Nitril nitrile

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about acetonitrile

Statistics for acetonitrile

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for acetonitrile

The first known use of acetonitrile was in 1848

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for acetonitrile

acetonitrile

noun
ace·​to·​ni·​trile | \ ˌas-ə-tō-ˈnī-trəl How to pronounce acetonitrile (audio) , ə-ˈsēt-ō- How to pronounce acetonitrile (audio) , -ˌtrēl How to pronounce acetonitrile (audio) \

Medical Definition of acetonitrile

: the colorless liquid nitrile CH3CN of acetic acid usually made by dehydration of acetamide and used chiefly in organic synthesis and as a solvent

called also methyl cyanide

More from Merriam-Webster on acetonitrile

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about acetonitrile

Comments on acetonitrile

What made you want to look up acetonitrile? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a device or gadget

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!