per·​chlo·​ro·​eth·​y·​lene | \ (ˌ)pər-ˌklȯr-ō-ˈe-thə-ˌlēn How to pronounce perchloroethylene (audio) \

Definition of perchloroethylene

: a colorless nonflammable toxic liquid C2Cl4 used often as a solvent in dry cleaning and for removal of grease from metals

Examples of perchloroethylene in a Sentence

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Eco-Dry-Clean About 85 percent of dry cleaners use a chemical called perchloroethylene (perc for short) that’s linked to respiratory issues, birth defects, and air pollution. Lindsay Talbot, Marie Claire, "Your Everything Guide to a Sustainable Closet," 19 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'perchloroethylene.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of perchloroethylene

1873, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for perchloroethylene

The first known use of perchloroethylene was in 1873

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More Definitions for perchloroethylene


per·​chlo·​ro·​eth·​y·​lene | \ ˌpər-ˌklōr-ō-ˈeth-ə-ˌlēn How to pronounce perchloroethylene (audio) \
variants: also perchlorethylene \ -​ˌklōr-​ˈeth-​ How to pronounce perchlorethylene (audio) \

Medical Definition of perchloroethylene

: a toxic nonflammable carcinogenic liquid C2Cl4 often used as a solvent in dry cleaning and for removal of grease from metals

called also perc, tetrachloroethylene

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Comments on perchloroethylene

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


to affect and impair by alcohol or a drug

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