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furan

[fyoo r-an, fyoo-ran] /ˈfyʊər æn, fyʊˈræn/
noun
1.
a colorless, liquid, unsaturated, five-membered heterocyclic compound, C 4 H 4 O, obtained from furfural: used chiefly in organic synthesis.
Also called furfuran.
Origin
1890-1895
1890-95; aphetic form of furfuran
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for furan
  • The dioxin and furan compounds having from four to eight chlorine atoms are considered especially toxic.
  • All of the dioxin and furan compounds are considered potentially toxic.
British Dictionary definitions for furan

furan

/ˈfjʊəræn; fjʊəˈræn/
noun
1.
a colourless flammable toxic liquid heterocyclic compound, used in the manufacture of cotton textiles and in the synthesis of nylon. Formula: C4H4O Also called furfuran
Word Origin
C19: shortened form of furfuran, from furfur
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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furan in Medicine

furan fu·ran (fyur'ān', fyu-rān')
n.
Any of a group of colorless, volatile, heterocyclic organic compounds containing a ring of four carbon atoms and one oxygen atom, used in the synthesis of organics.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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furan in Science
furan
  (fyr'ān', fy-rān')   
  1. Any of a group of colorless, volatile, organic compounds containing a ring of four carbon atoms and one oxygen atom. Furans are obtained from wood oils and used in the synthesis of many organic compounds.

  2. The simplest such compound, consisting of a furan ring with two double bonds and attached to four hydrogen atoms. Chemical formula: C4H4O.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for furan

any of a class of organic compounds of the heterocyclic aromatic series characterized by a ring structure composed of one oxygen atom and four carbon atoms. The simplest member of the furan family is furan itself, a colourless, volatile, and somewhat toxic liquid that boils at 31.36 C (88.45 F). It is usually converted by hydrogenation to tetrahydrofuran, which is used as a solvent and for production of adipic acid and hexamethylenediamine, the raw materials for nylon-6,6. Several other members of the furan family are produced on a large scale for use as solvents and chemical raw materials. The first furan compound discovered was pyromucic acid (2-furoic acid), prepared in 1780. The aldehyde furfural, used as a solvent in petroleum refining, is manufactured from corn cobs and oat hulls by treatment with acid.

Learn more about furan with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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