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[meth-uh l] /ˈmɛθ əl/
adjective, Chemistry
containing the methyl group.
Origin of methyl
1835-45; by back formation from methylene
Related forms
[me-thil-ik, muh-] /mɛˈθɪl ɪk, mə-/ (Show IPA),


a combining form occurring in the names of chemical compounds in which the methyl group is present:
methylamine. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for methyl
  • methyl bromide then reacts with water to form methanol.
  • Industries use dimethyl sulfate to tack methyl groups onto organic chemicals.
  • methyl mercaptan may irritate the eyes and mucous membranes.
  • However, exposure to methyl parathion may occur at farms where it has been used as a pesticide.
  • Benzoyl peroxide was weighed into a beaker that had previously been rinsed with methyl methacrylate.
British Dictionary definitions for methyl


/ˈmiːθaɪl; ˈmɛθɪl/
(modifier) of, consisting of, or containing the monovalent group of atoms CH3
an organometallic compound in which methyl groups are bound directly to a metal atom
Derived Forms
methylic (məˈθɪlɪk) adjective
Word Origin
C19: from French méthyle, back formation from methylene
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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Word Origin and History for methyl

univalent hydrocarbon radical, 1840, from German methyl (1840) or directly from French méthyle, back-formation from French méthylène (see methylene).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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methyl in Medicine

methyl meth·yl (měth'əl)
The alkyl group, often a univalent radical, CH3, derived from methane and occurring in many important organic compounds.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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methyl in Science
The radical CH3, derived from methane.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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