ke·​tone | \ ˈkē-ˌtōn How to pronounce ketone (audio) \

Definition of ketone

: any of a class of organic compounds (such as acetone) characterized by a carbonyl group attached to two carbon atoms

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Other Words from ketone

ketonic \ kē-​ˈtä-​nik How to pronounce ketone (audio) \ adjective

Examples of ketone in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For decades, Dutch chemists have tapped sources in China for BMK to manufacture amphetamine, and its cousin, piperonyl methyl ketone, or PMK, used to manufacture MDMA, the main ingredient in ecstasy. Valentina Pop, WSJ, "Mexican Cartels Are Now Cooking Chinese Chemicals in Dutch Meth Labs," 8 Dec. 2020 The firm won an Accelerator grant to develop a subcutaneous sensor to simultaneously monitor glucose, ketones, and lactase in diabetic patients. Nicholas Wallace, Science | AAAS, "Watch out Silicon Valley: European Union gets into the venture capital game," 8 Apr. 2020 That process also produces some chemical by-products called ketones, including acetone — a.k.a. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Why the Keto Diet Gives You Bad Breath, According to a Nutritionist," 29 Nov. 2018 The tank car may have held a flammable liquid in it called methyl isobutyl ketone, used as a solvent. Doha Madani, NBC News, "Train derails and catches fire in Illinois, triggering evacuations as smoke is seen for miles," 10 Sep. 2019 When excess ketones build up in the body, blood becomes acidic. Cynthia Sass, Mph,, "What to Know About the Snake Diet, an Extreme Fasting Plan for Weight Loss," 14 Oct. 2019 While the fat is broken down, your breath can smell sweeter thanks to the release of ketones, including acetone, as a byproduct. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "Your Sweat Can Give Away How Drunk You Are," 12 Dec. 2019 When your body does not have enough carbs to sustain everyday activity, the liver breaks down fat into ketones, which can then be used as energy. Adele Jackson-gibson, Good Housekeeping, "Can You Do Intermittent Fasting While on the Keto Diet?," 26 Nov. 2019 It is thought that eating a 4:1 ratio of fat to carbohydrate forces the body to burn molecules called ketones for energy instead of carbohydrates. Isabel Derera, The Conversation, "CBD and genetic testing provide hope for ‘intractable’ epilepsy in children," 25 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ketone.' 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 ketone

1851, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ketone

borrowed from German Keton, coinage based on Aceton acetone

Note: The German term Keton was apparently the coinage of the chemist Leopold Gmelin (1788-1853), who introduced it in Handbuch der organischen Chemie, 1. Band, 4. Auflage (Heidelberg, 1848), p. 40 passim. Gmelin characterized ketones as "Acetone im allgemeinen" ("acetones in general"), acetone being the smallest and simplest ketone.

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Statistics for ketone

Cite this Entry

“Ketone.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for ketone


ke·​tone | \ ˈkē-ˌtōn How to pronounce ketone (audio) \

Medical Definition of ketone

: an organic compound (as acetone) with a carbonyl group attached to two carbon atoms

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