ben·​zo·​py·​rene ˌben-zō-ˈpī-ˌrēn How to pronounce benzopyrene (audio)
: a yellow crystalline carcinogenic hydrocarbon C20H12 found in coal tar

called also benzo[a]pyrene

Examples of benzopyrene in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Now the soil and groundwater are contaminated with coal tar and 15 other toxins ranging from arsenic to compounds called benzopyrenes, which cause cancer. Lauren Ritchie,, 19 Oct. 2017

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

Word History


International Scientific Vocabulary benz- + pyrene a crystalline hydrocarbon C16H10, from pyr- + -ene

First Known Use

1936, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of benzopyrene was in 1936

Dictionary Entries Near benzopyrene

Cite this Entry

“Benzopyrene.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jul. 2024.

Medical Definition


ben·​zo·​py·​rene ˌben-zō-ˈpī(ə)r-ˌēn, -pī-ˈrēn How to pronounce benzopyrene (audio)
: a mixture of two isomeric hydrocarbons C20H12 of which one is highly carcinogenic see benzo[a]pyrene
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