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 Crude oil can be converted into naphtha, and gas converted into ethane, which are processed at sprawling industrial compounds into ethylene and plastic resins, then used to create consumer goods like grocery bags and single-use water bottles. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, "Big Oil’s Evil, Stupid Plan to Drown the World in Plastic," 4 Sep. 2020 The paper allows the pears to breathe, and the banana’s natural ethylene gas expedites the ripening. Beth Dooley Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Perfectly poached pears have plenty of uses," 4 Nov. 2020 There’s a complex collection of other gases in there too, including the fruit hormone ethylene, and the mix changes with time. Helen Czerski, WSJ, "Why Do We Bob for Apples, Not for Pears?," 8 Oct. 2020 Apples release ethylene gas that will cause other produce items, including other apples, to ripen. Paul Stephen, ExpressNews.com, "Fall apple crop stars in dishes with chicken, with potatoes in gratin, with sweet potato in soup, in Lidia Bastianich’s celery root salad and more," 28 Oct. 2020 Production capacity for ethylene and propylene is projected to increase by 33 to 36 percent, according to an estimate by the Center for International Environmental Law. Laura Parker, National Geographic, "Plastic pollution is a huge problem—and it’s not too late to fix it," 6 Oct. 2020 Capacity to produce ethylene rose 41% on the Gulf Coast over the past five years, according to research firm S&P Global Platts, while margins dropped more than three-quarters over that period. Collin Eaton And Saabira Chaudhuri, WSJ, "Firms Like Dow Bet Billions on Plastics. Now There’s a Glut.," 15 Oct. 2020 The new joint venture will focus on base-chemical production including ethylene and polyethylene, the group said. Paul Burkhardt, Bloomberg.com, "Sasol to Sell $2 Billion Chemicals Stake to LyondellBasell," 2 Oct. 2020 The price of ethylene and plastic resins has plunged alongside oil prices during the current downturn. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, "Big Oil’s Evil, Stupid Plan to Drown the World in Plastic," 4 Sep. 2020

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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Time Traveler for ethylene

Time Traveler

The first known use of ethylene was in 1849

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Statistics for ethylene

Last Updated

26 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ethylene.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ethylene. Accessed 1 Dec. 2020.

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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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