acet·​y·​lene | \ ə-ˈse-tᵊl-ən How to pronounce acetylene (audio) , -tᵊl-ˌēn \

Definition of acetylene

: a colorless gaseous hydrocarbon HC≡CH used chiefly in organic synthesis and as a fuel (as in welding and soldering)

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Other Words from acetylene

acetylenic \ ə-​ˌse-​tᵊl-​ˈē-​nik How to pronounce acetylenic (audio) , -​ˈe-​nik \ adjective

Examples of acetylene in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web What’s more, acetylene-munching microbes on Earth can draw energy from the organic compound. National Geographic, "New kind of alien 'mineral' created on Earth," 6 Dec. 2019 The gun seen firing in the film is another mock-up which was not mounted on the helicopter and which consisted of metal tubing with spark plugs to ignite acetylene as it was blown through the barrels. Peter Opaskar, Ars Technica, "Forget Top Gun: Maverick—let’s settle Blue Thunder vs. Airwolf once and for all," 10 Jan. 2020 Where electricity was not available, the city used gas acetylene tanks to illuminate warning traffic safety signs. Jacques Kelly,, "Baltimore traffic once depended on a system of homemade signals," 19 Oct. 2019 But putting shaped clay in a kiln is less risky than the local artist’s current project: applying an acetylene torch to paper. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, "In the galleries: Some art is sultry, while other pieces are smoky," 19 July 2019 The Warped Perception folks experiment with using isopropyl alcohol and acetylene as fuels instead of gas, and the engine clearly doesn't care too much for those. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "See-Through Engine Shows You the Marvel That Is Internal Combustion," 16 Jan. 2017 Authorities initially said the explosion had been caused by a truck carrying acetylene, another extremely flammable compound, that had been entering a different facility near the Shenghua plant. Josh Chin, WSJ, "Chemical Leak From State-Owned Factory Caused Deadly China Blast," 30 Nov. 2018 Other products made at the plant include PVC resins, caustic soda, hydrochloric acid, oxygen, chlorine, dissolved acetylene, coated kettle agent, water treatment chemicals and new building materials, according to the company website. Christopher Bodeen, The Seattle Times, "22 dead in blast outside northern China chemical plant," 28 Nov. 2018 According to Lexington Battalion Chief Jason Wells, the incident occurred as a result of a truck and a trailer with an acetylene tank exploding in the building. Erin Corbett, Fortune, "Officials Investigate Explosion at Kentucky UPS Freight Hub," 30 May 2018

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

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First Known Use of acetylene

1851, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for acetylene

borrowed from French acétylène, from acétyle acetyl + -ène -ene

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Time Traveler for acetylene

Time Traveler

The first known use of acetylene was in 1851

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Statistics for acetylene

Cite this Entry

“Acetylene.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for acetylene


How to pronounce acetylene (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of acetylene

: a gas that burns with a very hot flame which is used to melt and connect pieces of metal


acet·​y·​lene | \ ə-ˈset-ᵊl-ən How to pronounce acetylene (audio) , -ᵊl-ˌēn How to pronounce acetylene (audio) \

Medical Definition of acetylene

: a colorless gaseous hydrocarbon HC≡CH made especially by the action of water on calcium carbide and used chiefly in organic synthesis and as a fuel (as in welding and soldering)

called also ethyne

Other Words from acetylene

acetylenic \ ə-​ˌset-​ᵊl-​ˈē-​nik How to pronounce acetylenic (audio) , -​ˈen-​ik How to pronounce acetylenic (audio) \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on acetylene

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with acetylene

Spanish Central: Translation of acetylene

Nglish: Translation of acetylene for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of acetylene for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about acetylene

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