naphtha

[naf-thuh, nap-]
noun
1.
a colorless, volatile petroleum distillate, usually an intermediate product between gasoline and benzine, used as a solvent, fuel, etc. Compare mineral spirits.
2.
any of various similar liquids distilled from other products.

Origin:
1565–75; < Latin < Greek náphthas, perhaps < Iranian *nafta, derivative of *nab- to be damp; compare Avestan napta- damp, Persian naft naphtha

naphthous, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To naphtha
Collins
World English Dictionary
naphtha (ˈnæfθə, ˈnæp-)
 
n
1.  a distillation product from coal tar boiling in the approximate range 80--170°C and containing aromatic hydrocarbons
2.  a distillation product from petroleum boiling in the approximate range 100--200°C and containing aliphatic hydrocarbons: used as a solvent and in petrol
3.  an obsolete name for petroleum
 
[C16: via Latin from Greek, of Iranian origin; related to Persian neft naphtha]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Etymonline
Word Origin & History

naphtha
"inflammable liquid distilled from petroleum," 1572, from L., from Gk. naphtha "bitumen," perhaps from Pers. neft "pitch," or Aramaic naphta, nephta, but these could as well be from Gk. Naphthalene was coined 1821 by Eng. chemist John Kidd (1775-1851) from naphtha + chem. suffix -ine + -l- for the sake
of euphony.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

naphtha naph·tha (nāf'thə, nāp'-)
n.
Any of several highly volatile, flammable liquid mixtures of hydrocarbons distilled from petroleum, coal tar, or natural gas and used as solvents and in making various chemicals.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Science Dictionary
naphtha   (nāf'thə)  Pronunciation Key 
Any of several liquid mixtures of hydrocarbons made by refining petroleum or by breaking down coal tar. Naphtha is usually flammable, and is used as a solvent and as an ingredient in gasoline. It is also used to make plastics.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

naphtha

any of various volatile, highly flammable liquid hydrocarbon mixtures used chiefly as solvents and diluents and as raw materials for conversion to gasoline. Naphtha was the name originally applied to the more volatile kinds of petroleum issuing from the ground in the Baku district of Azerbaijan and Iran. As early as the 1st century AD, naphtha was mentioned by the Greek writer Dioscorides and the Roman writer Pliny the Elder. Alchemists used the word principally to distinguish various mobile liquids of low boiling point, including certain ethers and esters.

Learn more about naphtha with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Naphtha prices have again receded, so variable costs should drop soon.
Purified bitumen is heated to break its long hydrocarbon chains into lighter
  molecules, such as naphtha, that can be refined.
Naphtha isomerization converts the straight chains to branched, significantly
  raising their octane number.
In high energy environments, the naphtha will likely disperse as small droplets
  in the water column.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature