11 Trending Words of 2014


[kee-teen] /ˈki tin/
noun, Chemistry
a colorless, poisonous gas, C 2 H 2 O, irritating to the lungs, prepared from acetone or acetic acid by pyrolysis: used chiefly in the manufacture of certain commercial chemicals, as acetic anhydride and aspirin.
1905-10; ket- + -ene Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for ketene


/ˈkiːtiːn; ˈkɛt-/
a colourless irritating toxic gas used as an acetylating agent in organic synthesis. Formula: CH2:CO Also called ethonone
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
Encyclopedia Article for ketene

any of a class of organic compounds containing the functional grouping CCO; the most important member of the class being ketene itself, CH2CO, which is used in the manufacture of acetic anhydride and other industrial organic chemicals. The name suggests that ketenes are unsaturated ketones, but their chemistry resembles that of carboxylic acid anhydrides.

Learn more about ketene with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for ketene

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for ketene

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for ketene