meth·​a·​nol | \ ˈme-thə-ˌnȯl How to pronounce methanol (audio) , -ˌnōl \

Definition of methanol

: a light volatile flammable poisonous liquid alcohol CH3OH used especially as a solvent, antifreeze, or denaturant for ethanol and in the synthesis of other chemicals

Examples of methanol in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In addition to demonstration ships, Maersk has invested in an electrofuels startup and a company that produces green methanol. Aurora Almendral, Quartz, 5 Nov. 2021 Group has already demonstrated how captured carbon and renewable hydrogen can be used to synthesize methanol in several industrial settings. Kenji Terasawa, Forbes, 8 June 2021 Buena Vista Baptist Church now worships a couple thousand feet from a methanol plant and asphalt depot. Washington Post, 19 Apr. 2021 Inside the body, methanol is metabolized to formaldehyde, then to formic acid. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 23 June 2020 Throughout 2020, the FDA banned and recalled more than 100 hand sanitizer brands due to the presence of methanol. Yoni Heisler, BGR, 26 Nov. 2021 Hand sanitizers, which have very high alcohol content, can be lethal if ingested, particularly to small children or for products containing methanol. Robert Hart, Forbes, 17 Sep. 2021 In fact, during the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been multiple reports of deaths attributed to ingesting methanol-containing hand sanitizer. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, 29 Apr. 2021 In July last year, dozens of hand sanitizers were recalled by the agency after they were found to contain methanol contamination, which can have dangerous effects like blindness, neurological damage and even death. Carlie Porterfield, Forbes, 12 Oct. 2021

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

1894, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for methanol

International Scientific Vocabulary

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Time Traveler for methanol

Time Traveler

The first known use of methanol was in 1894

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Dictionary Entries Near methanol

methanoic acid



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Statistics for methanol

Last Updated

27 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Methanol.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for methanol



English Language Learners Definition of methanol

: a poisonous alcohol that is used to keep liquids from freezing, as a fuel, etc.


meth·​a·​nol | \ ˈmeth-ə-ˌnȯl How to pronounce methanol (audio) , -ˌnōl How to pronounce methanol (audio) \

Medical Definition of methanol

: a light volatile pungent flammable poisonous liquid alcohol CH3OH formed in the destructive distillation of wood or made synthetically and used especially as a solvent, antifreeze, or denaturant for ethanol and in the synthesis of other chemicals

called also carbinol, methyl alcohol, wood alcohol

More from Merriam-Webster on methanol

Britannica English: Translation of methanol for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about methanol


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