toluene

noun

tol·​u·​ene ˈtäl-yə-ˌwēn How to pronounce toluene (audio)
: a liquid aromatic hydrocarbon C7H8 that resembles benzene but is less volatile, flammable, and toxic and is used especially as a solvent, in organic synthesis, and as an antiknock agent for gasoline

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Raw natural gas contains a mix of methane and toxic chemicals like benzene, toluene or formaldehyde. Lisa Song, ProPublica, 23 Jan. 2023 Crude oil itself contains heavy metals, benzene, hexane, toluene and PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) that can damage DNA, leading to leukemia and lymphomas, and destruction of parts of the brain that regulate memory and motor skills. Linda Marsa, Discover Magazine, 30 Sep. 2015 Wells emit a volatile miasma of cancer-causing hydrocarbons such as benzene and toluene, and their wastewater can contaminate underground water tables relied on by neighbors for household supplies. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 15 Dec. 2022 Delta-8 is typically produced by dissolving CBD — a compound found in cannabis plants — in solvents, such as toluene that is often found in paint thinner. Eric Berger, USA TODAY, 22 Sep. 2022 For instance, product packaging could contain toluene, while plastics might emit benzene. Chris Baraniuk, Wired, 16 July 2022 Arts and Theater Safety Newsletter called for the banning of Barge with toluene in 2003 — but the product is still dominant in puppetry. Seth Abramovitch, The Hollywood Reporter, 17 Mar. 2022 According to a 2018 study published in the journal Environmental Study & Technology, nail polish brands started to label their products as 3-free in the 2000s to exclude toluene, formaldehyde, and dibutyl phthalate. Jenifer Calle, SELF, 4 Mar. 2022 In addition, methane leaks often contain other toxic pollutants, carcinogens, and poisonous gases like toluene, benzene, and hydrogen sulfide. Energy Innovation: Policy And Technology, Forbes, 26 Oct. 2021 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

French toluène, from tolu balsam from the tropical American tree Myroxylon balsamum, from Spanish tolú, from Santiago de Tolú, Colombia

First Known Use

1855, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of toluene was in 1855

Dictionary Entries Near toluene

Cite this Entry

“Toluene.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/toluene. Accessed 6 Feb. 2023.

Medical Definition

toluene

noun
tol·​u·​ene ˈtäl-yə-ˌwēn How to pronounce toluene (audio)
: a liquid aromatic hydrocarbon C7H8 that resembles benzene but is less volatile, flammable, and toxic and is used as a solvent, in organic synthesis, and as an antiknock agent for gasoline

called also methylbenzene

More from Merriam-Webster on toluene

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