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

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

naphthous, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
naphtha (ˈnæfθə, ˈnæp-)
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]

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Word Origin & History

"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
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

naphtha naph·tha (nāf'thə, nāp'-)
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.
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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.
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