[meth-eyn; British mee-theyn] /ˈmɛθ eɪn; British ˈmi θeɪn/
noun, Chemistry
a colorless, odorless, flammable gas, CH 4 , the main constituent of marsh gas and the firedamp of coal mines, obtained commercially from natural gas: the first member of the methane, or alkane, series of hydrocarbons.
1865–70; meth- + -ane
Example Sentences for methane
What's more, it will run on methane gas produced from cow manure.
These are cooler than other deep-sea vents, rich in organic compounds, and suffused by methane.
Grazing animals produce methane through natural fermentation of feed in their guts.
When rocks and coal shift, methane seeps out even faster.
methane emissions, on the other hand, have no economic utility.
Yes, cattle produce methane no matter what they eat.
Most methane comes from enteric fermentation--digestive processes.
In other words, enteric methane is a solvable problem.
For example, every marshy area contains billions of bacteria which eat decaying plant matter and release methane gas.
Others, such as nitrous-oxide emissions from soils and methane emissions from animals, cannot.
British Dictionary definitions for methane
methane (ˈmiːθeɪn)
marsh gas See also firedamp a colourless odourless flammable gas, the simplest alkane and the main constituent of natural gas: used as a fuel. Formula: CH4
[C19: from meth(yl) + -ane]

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Word Origin and History for methane
1868, coined from meth(yl) + chemical suffix -ane.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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methane in Medicine

methane meth·ane (měth'ān')
An odorless, colorless, flammable gas that is the major constituent of natural gas and is used as a fuel and as an important source of hydrogen. Also called marsh gas.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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methane in Science
A colorless, odorless, flammable gas that is the simplest hydrocarbon. It is the major constituent of natural gas and is released during the decomposition of plant or other organic compounds, as in marshes and coal mines. Methane is the first member of the alkane series. Chemical formula: CH4.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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