[eth-uh-leen] Chemistry.
containing the ethylene group.
Also called ethene, olefiant gas. a colorless, flammable gas, C 2 H 4 , having a sweet, unpleasant odor and taste, the first member of the ethylene series, usually obtained from petroleum and natural gas: used as an agent to improve the color of citrus fruits, in the synthesis of polyethylene, ethylene dibromide, ethylene oxide, and other organic compounds, and in medicine chiefly as an inhalation anesthetic.

1850–55; ethyl + -ene

ethylenic [eth-uh-lee-nik, -len-ik] , adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
ethylene (ˈɛθɪˌliːn)
Also called: ethene a colourless flammable gaseous alkene with a sweet odour, obtained from petroleum and natural gas and used in the manufacture of polythene and many other chemicals. Formula: CH2:CH2

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Word Origin & History

1852, from ethyl + -ene.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

ethylene eth·yl·ene (ěth'ə-lēn')

  1. An explosive gas derived from natural gas and petroleum infrequently used as an inhalation anesthetic. Also called ethene.

  2. The bivalent hydrocarbon radical C2H4 that is isomeric to the ethylidene radical.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
ethylene   (ěth'ə-lēn')  Pronunciation Key 
A colorless, flammable gas that occurs naturally in certain plants and can be obtained from petroleum and natural gas. As a plant hormone, it ripens and colors fruit, and it is manufactured for use in agriculture to speed these processes. It is also used as a fuel and in making plastics. Ethylene is the simplest alkene, consisting of two carbon atoms joined by a double bond and each attached to two hydrogen atoms. Also called ethene. Chemical formula: C2H4.
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Example sentences
But these solutions don't address what the scientists now say is the cause of
  the needle loss: ethylene, a plant hormone.
What goes in car radiators is ethylene glycol, which is toxic.
Cyanobacteria can sense ethylene, but whether they can produce the compound is
In fact, the team found ethane, methane and ethylene in spring water located
  near the oracle.
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