ethylene

noun
eth·​yl·​ene | \ ˈe-thə-ˌlēn How to pronounce ethylene (audio) \

Definition of ethylene

1 : a colorless flammable gaseous unsaturated hydrocarbon C2H4 that is found in coal gas, can be produced by pyrolysis of petroleum hydrocarbons, and occurs in plants functioning especially as a natural growth regulator that promotes the ripening of fruit
2 : a divalent hydrocarbon group C2H4 derived from ethane

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Other Words from ethylene

ethylenic \ ˌe-​thə-​ˈlē-​nik How to pronounce ethylenic (audio) , -​ˈle-​nik \ adjective

Examples of ethylene in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Avocados produce ethylene gas, which helps them ripen. Amy Mitchell, Country Living, "How to Ripen an Avocado Fast," 3 May 2019 Like apples, pears release a large amount of ethylene, the gas that causes fruit to ripen. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "How to Pick the Most Delicious Pears Every Time," 19 Sep. 2018 Enterprise and Navigator anticipate that U.S. ethylene production will reach 90 billion pounds per year during the same period. Katherine Blunt, Houston Chronicle, "Construction begins on Houston ethylene export terminal," 29 May 2018 That ethylene supply supports the production of polyethylene — the world's most common plastic — at the company's Sweeny complex. Katherine Blunt, Houston Chronicle, "Phillips 66 to launch $1.5 billion expansion of Sweeny hub," 13 June 2018 Last year, three new Gulf Coast ethylene crackers boosted domestic ethane consumption to 1.2 billion barrels a day, the agency reported. Katherine Blunt, Houston Chronicle, "U.S. ethane consumption expected to boom," 20 Feb. 2018 The best way to keep all of that ethylene from causing your apple to go off too soon is to keep them in the fridge—this will reduce the amount of gas produced, which will help them last longer. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "How to Pick the Best Apples Every Single Time," 12 Sep. 2018 The explosion occurred Saturday morning when one of the plant's production lines leaked ethylene, a highly flammable gas used to make many types of plastics. Katherine Blunt, Houston Chronicle, "Most injured workers released from hospitals after Kuraray explosion," 25 May 2018 Kuraray's Eval plant, located on Bay Area Boulevard, opened in 1986 to produce ethylene vinyl alcohol, a chemical used in food packaging. Katherine Blunt, Houston Chronicle, "Most injured workers released from hospitals after Kuraray explosion," 25 May 2018

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

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First Known Use of ethylene

1849, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

19 May 2019

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Time Traveler for ethylene

The first known use of ethylene was in 1849

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More Definitions for ethylene

ethylene

noun
eth·​yl·​ene | \ ˈeth-ə-ˌlēn How to pronounce ethylene (audio) \

Medical Definition of ethylene

1 : a colorless flammable gaseous unsaturated hydrocarbon C2H4 that is found in coal gas, can be produced by pyrolysis of petroleum hydrocarbons, is used in medicine as a general inhalation anesthetic, and occurs in plants functioning especially as a natural growth regulator that promotes the ripening of fruit

called also ethene

2 : a divalent hydrocarbon group C2H4 derived from ethane

Other Words from ethylene

ethylenic \ ˌeth-​ə-​ˈlē-​nik How to pronounce ethylenic (audio) , -​ˈlen-​ik How to pronounce ethylenic (audio) \ adjective
ethylenically \ -​ˈlē-​ni-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce ethylenically (audio) , -​ˈlen-​i-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce ethylenically (audio) \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on ethylene

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ethylene

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