mer·​cap·​tan | \(ˌ)mər-ˈkap-ˌtan \

Definition of mercaptan 

Examples of mercaptan in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Vestal said the smell was consistent with mercaptan, the chemical that gives natural gas its pungent odor. Benjy Egel, sacbee, "What’s that smell? More than 120 callers report gas odor in eastern Sacramento County," 15 Dec. 2017 Two key factors helped highlight the Aliso Canyon leak: One, the gas was stored at the end of the supply chain and contained mercaptans, the odorous additives used to make leak detection easier in homes. National Geographic, "The World Is Hemorrhaging Methane, and Now We Can See Where," 13 Jan. 2016 Most could pick up the smell of methyl mercaptan, a sulfur compound released as our guts digest the vegetable. Thomas Goetz, WIRED, "23AndMe Will Decode Your DNA for $1,000. Welcome to the Age of Genomics," 17 Nov. 2007

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

1835, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for mercaptan

German, from Danish, from Medieval Latin mercurium captans, literally, seizing mercury

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The first known use of mercaptan was in 1835

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mer·​cap·​tan | \(ˌ)mər-ˈkap-ˌtan \

Medical Definition of mercaptan 

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Comments on mercaptan

What made you want to look up mercaptan? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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