al·​kane | \ ˈal-ˌkān How to pronounce alkane (audio) \

Definition of alkane

: any of numerous saturated hydrocarbons specifically : any of a series of open-chain hydrocarbons CnH2n+2 (such as methane and butane)

called also paraffin

Examples of alkane in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The ethane family, called alkanes, includes propane, methane, and paraffin. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "We Don't Need to Be Afraid of Depleted Uranium," 13 Jan. 2020 There is something in the air these days in Washington: methane with a smattering of higher alkanes and perhaps a little hydrogen sulfide. Spencer Jakab, WSJ, "Feel Free to Gush About Natural Gas," 30 May 2019 The product, which purports to help give skin a healthy, dewy look, is made with skin-loving ingredients like coconut alkanes, coconut milk, coconut water and coconut polysaccharides. Courtney Ortega,, "Could this tropical fruit be the secret to helping makeup survive the summer?," 5 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'alkane.' 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 alkane

1899, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for alkane

alkyl + -ane

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Statistics for alkane

Cite this Entry

“Alkane.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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More Definitions for alkane


al·​kane | \ ˈal-ˌkān How to pronounce alkane (audio) \

Medical Definition of alkane

: any of a series of saturated aliphatic hydrocarbons CnH2n+2 (as methane)

called also paraffin

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