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[uh-kroh-lee-in] /əˈkroʊ li ɪn/
noun, Chemistry
a yellow, flammable liquid, C 3 H 4 O, having a stifling odor, usually obtained by the decomposition of glycerol: used chiefly in the synthesis of commercial and pharmaceutical products.
Also called acraldehyde, acrylaldehyde, acrylic aldehyde.
Origin of acrolein
1855-60; < Latin ācr- (stem of ācer) sharp + olē(re) to smell + -in2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for acrolein
  • Cigarette smoke and automobile exhaust contain acrolein.
  • acrolein causes burning of the nose and throat and can damage the lungs.
  • acrolein has low water solubility compared to formaldehyde and purges out of a deionized water impinger.
  • There are no adequate human studies of the carcinogenic potential of acrolein.
  • Collectively, experimental studies provide inadequate evidence that acrolein causes cancer in laboratory animals.
  • The reactivity and toxicity of acrolein is seen at the principal sites of exposure, the gastrointestinal and pulmonary tracts.
British Dictionary definitions for acrolein


a colourless or yellowish flammable poisonous pungent liquid used in the manufacture of resins and pharmaceuticals. Formula: CH2:CHCHO
Word Origin
C19: from Latin ācer sharp + olēre to smell + -in
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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