ethylene oxide


: a colorless flammable toxic compound C2H4O used especially in synthesis (as of ethylene glycol) and in sterilization and fumigation

Examples of ethylene oxide in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Meanwhile, several people have sued the sterilizing company, claiming their health has been affected by the ethylene oxide emissions. Andy Miller, USA TODAY, 29 Apr. 2024 The rule targets ethylene oxide, used for sterilizing medical devices, and chloroprene, used to make rubber in footwear, plus four other chemicals. Peter Weber, theweek, 10 Apr. 2024 Art Wager On Tuesday, the US Environmental Protection Agency announced new rules that are intended to cut emissions of two chemicals that have been linked to elevated incidence of cancer: ethylene oxide and chloroprene. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 9 Apr. 2024 ProPublica’s analysis of emissions data found that between 2014 and 2018 ethylene oxide was the single biggest contributor to excess industrial cancer risk from air pollutants nationwide. Ava Kofman, ProPublica, 16 Apr. 2024 See all Example Sentences for ethylene oxide 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ethylene oxide.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1866, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ethylene oxide was in 1866

Dictionary Entries Near ethylene oxide

Cite this Entry

“Ethylene oxide.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

Medical Definition

ethylene oxide

: a colorless flammable toxic gaseous or liquid compound C2H4O used especially in synthesis (as of ethylene glycol) and in fumigation and sterilization (as of medical instruments)

More from Merriam-Webster on ethylene oxide

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!