tri·​chlo·​ro·​eth·​y·​lene ˌtrī-ˌklȯr-ō-ˈe-thə-ˌlēn How to pronounce trichloroethylene (audio)
: a nonflammable toxic liquid C2HCl3 used especially as an industrial solvent

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web But the city contends that neither the DNR nor any other source told the city there were dangerous levels of the chemical trichloroethylene, or TCE, at Community Within the Corridor East Block, 2748 N. 32nd Street, until late last week. Alison Dirr, Journal Sentinel, 30 Mar. 2023 The main contaminants are trichloroethylene, or TCE, and tetrachloroethylene, or PCE. Sarah Bowman, The Indianapolis Star, 30 Mar. 2023 The issues erupted in 2019 with the discovery the company had for years been venting huge amounts of the hazardous degreaser trichloroethylene, or TCE, into the air at levels far beyond its allowed limits — a finding that prompted one of the largest pollution settlements in the MPCA's history. Jennifer Bjorhus, Star Tribune, 14 Apr. 2021 Researchers warn that a colorless chemical known as trichloroethylene (TCE) — which has been used to dry-clean clothes, degrease metals and decaffeinate coffee — may be linked to the dramatic increase in Parkinson’s disease (PD) cases. Shiv Sudhakar, Fox News, 22 Mar. 2023 The chemical implicated in the drinking water contamination, trichloroethylene, also known as TCE, can cause sudden death or kidney cancer if a person is exposed to high levels and other neurological harm even at lower exposures over a long period. Eric Lipton, New York Times, 16 Mar. 2023 Most of the options come with slipcovers that can be machine-washed on warm (but should not be tumble dried) or dry cleaned (in any solvent except trichloroethylene). Kristina Mcguirk, Better Homes & Gardens, 14 Mar. 2023 The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry says trichloroethylene, one of the major contaminants found on the base, was measured at 1,400 parts per billion in drinking water in May 1982. Nick Watt, CNN, 1 Dec. 2022 Residents may have been exposed to toxicants including dry-cleaning agent tetrachloroethylene; solvent trichloroethylene; benzene, which is commonly used in plastics, dyes, and detergents; and vinyl chloride, a gas used to make plastics. Jamie Ducharme, Time, 16 Nov. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'trichloroethylene.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1919, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of trichloroethylene was circa 1919

Dictionary Entries Near trichloroethylene

Cite this Entry

“Trichloroethylene.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jun. 2023.

Medical Definition


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

More from Merriam-Webster on trichloroethylene

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