tri·​chlo·​ro·​eth·​y·​lene | \ ˌtrī-ˌklȯr-ō-ˈe-thə-ˌlēn How to pronounce trichloroethylene (audio) \

Definition of trichloroethylene

: a nonflammable toxic liquid C2HCl3 used especially as an industrial solvent

Examples of trichloroethylene in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In 1983, the EPA listed Tucson as a Superfund site after the city's tap water was poisoned by an industrial spill of the chemical solvent trichloroethylene, or TCE. Devin Dwyer, ABC News, 10 Aug. 2021 About 220 million pounds of trichloroethylene are produced every year in the U.S., according to 2012 data from the Environmental Protection Agency. oregonlive, 8 Apr. 2021 But one of the common triggers is suspected to be exposure to the carcinogen trichloroethylene, which is used in dry-cleaning processes, pesticides, household cleaning wipes and paint removers, among other products. oregonlive, 8 Apr. 2021 For years, industries from factories to dry cleaners dumped solvents around their plants and left the groundwater polluted with harmful chemicals including trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (PCE). Ian James, azcentral, 14 May 2020 In March, the company paid $7 million in penalty fees because of another form of pollution — the solvent trichloroethylene, or TCE. Bob Shaw, Twin Cities, 31 Oct. 2019 So far, preliminary test results show no evidence of trichloroethylene, or TCE, in the air. Jill Tucker,, 26 Feb. 2020 In March, officials said Water Gremlin had illegally released tons of the solvent TCE, or trichloroethylene, over a 17-year period. Bob Shaw, Twin Cities, 6 Nov. 2019 The chemicals stored at the plant included cyanide, chromium, nickel, chloride, trichloroethylene, and various acids and bases that were used as part of the plating process. Steve Pepple, Detroit Free Press, 30 Dec. 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of trichloroethylene

circa 1919, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About trichloroethylene

Time Traveler for trichloroethylene

Time Traveler

The first known use of trichloroethylene was circa 1919

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near trichloroethylene

trichloroacetic acid



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for trichloroethylene

Cite this Entry

“Trichloroethylene.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for trichloroethylene


variants: also trichlorethylene \ -​ˈeth-​ə-​ˌlēn How to pronounce trichloroethylene (audio) \

Medical Definition of trichloroethylene

: a nonflammable liquid C2HCl3 used as a solvent and in medicine as an anesthetic and analgesic abbreviation TCE

More from Merriam-Webster on trichloroethylene Encyclopedia article about trichloroethylene


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!