naph·​tha·​lene | \ ˈnaf-thə-ˌlēn How to pronounce naphthalene (audio) , nonstandard ˈnap- \

Definition of naphthalene

: a crystalline aromatic hydrocarbon C10H8 usually obtained by distillation of coal tar and used especially in organic synthesis

Examples of naphthalene in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web On Earth, superplasticizers are typically hard-to-pronounce substances like naphthalene and polycarboxylate. Daniel Oberhaus, Wired, 22 May 2020 The sample cylinders made with urea and naphthalene could hold the heavy weights and retain a mostly stable shape. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 31 Mar. 2020 Other common plasticizers, like naphthalene and polycarboxylate, were also mixed with regolith and printed in the same way for comparison. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 31 Mar. 2020 The upwind samples registered lower than the downwind side, but both sides showed elevated levels of benzene and naphthalene. Dennis Pillion |, al, 24 Jan. 2020 These chemicals—such as benzene, toluene, naphthalene, anthracene, and phenol—form the basis for perfumes, explosives, and medicines. Akshat Rathi, Quartz, 23 Oct. 2019 Additional testing found detectable levels of propanol, acetone, dichlorodifluoromethane, chloromethane, naphthalene in the air as well. Cameron Knight,, 12 Dec. 2018 Your grandma's favorite method is on the outs now that many experts consider the chemicals — naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene — a health risk. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, 13 Mar. 2019 California already considers the pesticides known carcinogens, and the European Union has banned naphthalene. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, 13 Mar. 2019

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

1821, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for naphthalene

alteration of earlier naphthaline, irregular from naphtha

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The first known use of naphthalene was in 1821

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Dictionary Entries Near naphthalene



naphthaleneacetic acid

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Cite this Entry

“Naphthalene.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for naphthalene


naph·​tha·​lene | \ -ˌlēn How to pronounce naphthalene (audio) \

Medical Definition of naphthalene

: a crystalline aromatic hydrocarbon C10H8 usually obtained by distillation of coal tar and used especially in organic synthesis and formerly as a topical and intestinal antiseptic

Other Words from naphthalene

naphthalenic \ ˌnaf-​thə-​ˈlen-​ik How to pronounce naphthalene (audio) , ˌnap-​ How to pronounce naphthalene (audio) , -​ˈlēn-​ \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on naphthalene

Nglish: Translation of naphthalene for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about naphthalene


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