naphthalene

noun

naph·​tha·​lene ˈnaf-thə-ˌlēn How to pronounce naphthalene (audio)
 nonstandard  ˈnap-
: 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 The process can create air and water pollution problems and has been tied to harmful contaminants such as naphthalene, benzene, toluene, chlorobenzene, benzo(a)pyrene and others. Dennis Pillion | Dpillion@al.com, al, 14 July 2023 Your grandma's favorite method is on the outs now that many experts consider the chemicals in mothballs — naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene — a health risk. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, 30 June 2023 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, 21 Jan. 2021 Ethylene glycol was used in the largest quantities, but acrylamide, formaldehyde and naphthalene were also common. Vivian R. Underhill, Fortune, 3 Apr. 2023 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 | Dpillion@al.com, al, 24 Jan. 2020 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

alteration of earlier naphthaline, irregular from naphtha

First Known Use

1821, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of naphthalene was in 1821

Dictionary Entries Near naphthalene

Cite this Entry

“Naphthalene.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/naphthalene. Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

naphthalene

noun
naph·​tha·​lene ˈnaf-thə-ˌlēn How to pronounce naphthalene (audio)
ˈnap-
: a hydrocarbon in the form of crystals usually obtained from coal tar and used in chemical manufacture and as a moth repellent

Medical Definition

naphthalene

noun
naph·​tha·​lene -ˌlēn How to pronounce naphthalene (audio)
: 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
naphthalenic adjective

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