eth·​ane ˈe-ˌthān How to pronounce ethane (audio)
 British usually  ˈē-
: a colorless odorless gaseous alkane C2H6 found in natural gas and used as a fuel

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Methane and ethane fall as rain, flow in rivers, and collect in lakes — a hydrological cycle composed of liquid natural gas instead of water. Corey S. Powell, Discover Magazine, 1 Aug. 2020 Titan also has dense clouds of hydrocarbons that burst with rain, plus a liquid-rich landscape of rivers, lakes, and ocean of liquid hydrocarbons including methane and ethane below the icy crust. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, 8 Dec. 2022 Titan has Earth-like liquid bodies on its surface, but its rivers, lakes and seas are made of liquid ethane and methane, which form clouds and cause rain from the sky. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 1 Dec. 2022 Petrochemical plants turn ethane produced by natural gas drilling into nurdles and then pump them into railcars. Kris Maher, WSJ, 19 Nov. 2022 In order to get a good sample, Jia must flash-freeze proteins with liquid ethane so that they are suspended in a thin layer of ice. Laura Garcia, San Antonio Express-News, 7 Sep. 2022 The company's Mariner East 1, Mariner East 2 and Mariner East 2X pipelines carry propane, ethane and butane from the Marcellus and Utica shale gas fields to a refinery processing center and export terminal in Marcus Hook, a suburb of Philadelphia. Michael Rubinkam, ajc, 5 Aug. 2022 Mueller said his company's propulsion system is based on a propellant mix of ethane and nitrous oxide, which is storable and cost-effective. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 19 July 2022 The metallic grid is dipped in a solution containing cells, then flash-frozen in liquid ethane and stored in a cryo-chamber. James Somers, The New Yorker, 28 Feb. 2022 See More

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

Word History


International Scientific Vocabulary, from ethyl

First Known Use

1866, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ethane was in 1866

Dictionary Entries Near ethane

Cite this Entry

“Ethane.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition


eth·​ane ˈeth-ˌān How to pronounce ethane (audio)
: a colorless odorless gas that consists of carbon and hydrogen, is found in natural gas, and is used especially as a fuel

Medical Definition


ˈeth-ˌān, British ˈē-ˌthān
: a colorless odorless gaseous alkane C2H6 found in natural gas and used especially as a fuel

More from Merriam-Webster on ethane

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