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

Example Sentences

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 | Dpillion@al.com, 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, Cincinnati.com, 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 See More

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.

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 9 Feb. 2023.

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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