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

Apples also are a source of tomato-ripening ethylene. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, "Here’s what you should do this weekend to prepare your garden for winter," 12 Sep. 2019 The wells are also yielding vast amounts of gas liquids, especially ethane, the basic feedstock for producing ethylene and polyethylene, which are used to manufacture plastic. Keith Schneider, ProPublica, "West Virginia Bets Big on Plastics, and on Backing of Trump Administration," 31 July 2019 According to records kept by the Environmental Protection Agency, the plant had 68 tons of ethylene on site in 2017. NBC News, "66 people receiving medical attention after ExxonMobil refinery explosion in Texas," 31 July 2019 According to records kept by the Environmental Protection Agency, the plant had 68 tons (69 metric tons) of ethylene on site in 2017. Washington Post, "Fire at Texas Exxon Mobil refinery slightly injures 37," 31 July 2019 According to records kept by the Environmental Protection Agency, the plant had 68 tons of ethylene on site in 2017. Juan A. Lozano, USA TODAY, "Explosion, fire injures 37 at Exxon Mobil refinery in Texas," 31 July 2019 The only problem is the refrigerator can’t contain any ethylene-producing fruits like apples and melons. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, "How to make your lilacs bloom like crazy next summer," 20 June 2019 This traps the natural ethylene gases that many fruits release, and that speeds up the ripening process. Washington Post, "Hints From Heloise: Don’t give out clues to your identity," 5 July 2019 The fruit emits ethylene gas and trapping that within the bag will help the fruit ripen. Becca Miller, Good Housekeeping, "How to Ripen Peaches for Perfect Summer Fruit Every Time," 28 June 2019

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

7 Oct 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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