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

Recent Examples on the Web In December, a state ban on the toxic cleaning agent perchloroethylene went into effect. Los Angeles Times, 31 July 2021 The operation was shut down in May 2002, and hazardous substances were found at the site, including perchloroethylene, trichloroethylene, 1,2-dichloroethylene and vinyl chloride, chemicals which can cause cancer in humans. Paul Wedding, Houston Chronicle, 25 Nov. 2019 His task had been to create a new product out of hydrocarbon and chlorine, two by-products of manufacturing the dry-cleaning agent perchloroethylene. Sarah Gibbens, National Geographic, 12 July 2019 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, 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.

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First Known Use of perchloroethylene

1873, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of perchloroethylene was in 1873

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Cite this Entry

“Perchloroethylene.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2022.

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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 perchloroethylene (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

More from Merriam-Webster on perchloroethylene Encyclopedia article about perchloroethylene


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