< Frenchméthylène (coined in 1834), equivalent to Greekméth(y) wine (see mead1) + hýl(ē) wood + French-ène-ene, taken to mean “wood-spirits” (vin ou liqueur spiritueuse du bois), though elements of the compound are in the wrong order to give this sense
1835, from French méthylène (1834), coined by Jean-Baptiste-André Dumas (1800-1884) and Eugène-Melchior Péligot (1811-1890) from Greek methy "wine" (see mead (n.1)) + -yl "stuff" + chemical suffix -ene. So called because detected in wood alcohol.
(měth'ə-lēn') A bivalent hydrocarbon radical, CH2. Because it has two unshared electrons, it is extremely reactive and occurs only as an intermediate byproduct in chemical reactions. Methylene is a component of unsaturated hydrocarbons.