Definition of denatured alcohol
: ethyl alcohol made unfit for drinking but still suitable for industrial or domestic purposes and freed from internal revenue tax in many countries (such as the U.S.): such as
a : alcohol to which have been added sufficient malodorous and obnoxious substances (such as products from the destructive distillation of wood or from petroleum) to prevent completely its use or recovery for beverage purposes but not for many industrial uses (as for an antifreeze)
— called also completely denatured alcohol
b : alcohol to which have been added small amounts of substances (such as methanol, benzene, or acetaldehyde) that do not prevent its use in industry and the arts for specialized purposes (as for solvents)
— called also specially denatured alcohol— compare methylated spirit
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