Why was "tantrum" trending last week?


[ben-zeen, ben-zeen] /ˈbɛn zin, bɛnˈzin/
noun, Chemistry
a colorless, volatile, flammable, toxic, slightly water-soluble, liquid, aromatic compound, C 6 H 6 , obtained chiefly from coal tar: used in the manufacture of commercial and medicinal chemicals, dyes, and as a solvent for resins, fats, or the like.
Origin of benzene
1825-35; benz(oic acid) + -ene Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for benzene
  • Likely candidates include such recognized or suspected carcinogens as benzene and formaldehyde.
  • The harmful compounds in petroleum absent from renewable diesel include benzene, which becomes an airborne carcinogen when burned.
  • The exhaust is a complex mix of toxic substances such as benzene, arsenic and formaldehyde, many of which can cause cancer.
  • benzene is a component of products derived from coal and petroleum and is found in gasoline and other fuels.
  • benzene is a major industrial chemical made from coal and oil.
British Dictionary definitions for benzene


/ˈbɛnziːn; bɛnˈziːn/
a colourless flammable toxic aromatic liquid used in the manufacture of styrene, phenol, etc, as a solvent for fats, resins, etc, and as an insecticide. Formula: C6H6 See also benzene ring
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for benzene

1835, benzine, altered from German Benzin, coined in 1833 by German chemist Eilhardt Mitscherlich (1794-1863) from Benz(oesäure) "benzoic acid" + -ene (German -in), hydrocarbon suffix. Mitscherlich obtained it from a distillation of benzoic acid, obtained from benzoin. The form benzene dates from 1872 in English. In 19c. it also sometimes was called benzol. Faraday was first to discover the compound (in fish oil) and called it bicarburet of hydrogen.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
benzene in Medicine

benzene ben·zene (běn'zēn', běn-zēn')
A clear, colorless, highly refractive flammable liquid derived from petroleum and used in or to manufacture a wide variety of chemical products, including DDT, insecticides, and motor fuels. Also called benzine.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
benzene in Science
A colorless flammable liquid derived from petroleum. Benzene is used to make detergents, insecticides, motor fuels, and many other chemical products. Chemical formula: C6H6. See more at benzene ring.

benzyl adjective
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for benzene

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for benzene

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for benzene