ben·​zo·​py·​rene | \ ˌben-zō-ˈpī-ˌrēn How to pronounce benzopyrene (audio) , -pī-ˈrēn \

Definition of benzopyrene

: 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,, "Nine toxic Superfund sites in Central Florida waiting for EPA help," 19 Oct. 2017

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

First Known Use of benzopyrene

1936, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for benzopyrene

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

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Time Traveler for benzopyrene

Time Traveler

The first known use of benzopyrene was in 1936

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Cite this Entry

“Benzopyrene.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for benzopyrene


ben·​zo·​py·​rene | \ ˌben-zō-ˈpī(ə)r-ˌēn, -pī-ˈrēn How to pronounce benzopyrene (audio) \
variants: or benzpyrene \ benz-​ˈpī(ə)r-​ˌēn, ˌbenz-​pī-​ˈrēn How to pronounce benzpyrene (audio) \

Medical Definition of benzopyrene

: a mixture of two isomeric hydrocarbons C20H12 of which one is highly carcinogenic — see benzo[a]pyrene

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