variants or less commonly furane
ˈfyu̇r-ˌān How to pronounce furan (audio)
: a cyclic flammable liquid compound C4H4O that is obtained from wood oils of pines or made synthetically and is used especially in organic synthesis
also : any of various derivatives of furan

Examples of furan in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Modern bacteria are thought to use furans for cellular signaling. Byandrew Curry,, 4 May 2023 Next, the team equipped modern Pseudomonas protegens bacteria with a pair of ancient genes to make proteins that produce milligrams’ worth of a molecule called a furan. Byandrew Curry,, 4 May 2023 Burning plastic releases toxic gases such as dioxins, furans, mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls — better known as PCBs — into the atmosphere. Andrew Jeong, Washington Post, 12 Apr. 2023 Next, Rao and her colleagues plan to extend their research to exploring how the cold-brew versus hot-brew processes and roasting temperatures affect the flavor compounds in raw coffee beans, called furans. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 9 Apr. 2020 Heavy polluters Incinerators release many air pollutants, including nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxides, particulate matter, lead, mercury, dioxins and furans. Ana Baptista, The Conversation, 20 June 2019 Another way to convert waste to energy is through gasification, a process that melts plastics at very high temperatures in the near-absence of oxygen (which means toxins like dioxins and furans aren’t formed). Elizabeth Royte, National Geographic, 12 Mar. 2019 See More

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

Word History


International Scientific Vocabulary, from furfural

First Known Use

1894, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of furan was in 1894

Dictionary Entries Near furan

Cite this Entry

“Furan.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

Medical Definition


variants also furane
: a flammable liquid C4H4O obtained from oils of pines or made synthetically and used especially in organic synthesis
also : a derivative of furan

More from Merriam-Webster on furan

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