am·​yl | \ ˈa-məl How to pronounce amyl (audio) \

Definition of amyl

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: any of various isomeric alkyl radicals C5H11− derived from pentane
variants: or amylo-

Definition of amyl- (Entry 2 of 2)

: starch amyloplast

Examples of amyl in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Humans have also been found as able as dogs and rabbits at smelling the main odorant in bananas (amyl acetate), and are more sensitive to mice than at least one component odor of human blood. Brian Handwerk, Smithsonian, "In Some Ways, Your Sense of Smell Is Actually Better Than a Dog’s," 22 May 2017

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

First Known Use of amyl


1847, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for amyl


Latin amylum + English -yl

Combining form

Latin amylum, from Greek amylon, from neuter of amylos unmilled (of grain), from a- + mylē mill — more at meal

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about amyl

Statistics for amyl

Time Traveler for amyl

The first known use of amyl was in 1847

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for amyl


am·​yl | \ ˈam-əl How to pronounce amyl (audio) \

Medical Definition of amyl

: a univalent hydrocarbon radical C5H11 that occurs in various isomeric forms and is derived from pentane

called also pentyl

Comments on amyl

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


the exactly right word or phrasing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • rotelle pasta
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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