noun Chemistry.
any of 18 isomeric saturated hydrocarbons having the formula C 8 H 1 8 , some of which are obtained in the distillation and cracking of petroleum.

1870–75; oct- + -ane

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World English Dictionary
octane (ˈɒkteɪn)
See also isooctane a liquid alkane hydrocarbon found in petroleum and existing in 18 isomeric forms, esp the isomer n-octane. Formula: C8H18

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Word Origin & History

hydrocarbon of the methane series, 1872, coined from octo- (from Gk. okto "eight;" see eight) + -ane, as in methane; so called because it has eight carbon atoms. A fuel's octane rating, in ref. to its anti-knocking quality, is attested from 1932.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
octane   (ŏk'tān')  Pronunciation Key 
Any of several hydrocarbons having eight carbon atoms connected by single bonds. It is commonly added to gasoline to prevent knocking from uneven burning of fuel in internal-combustion engines. Octane is the eighth member of the alkane series. Chemical formula: C8H18.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
It helps to have some siblings to spread around the high octane attention and
High octane gasoline as well as ethyl alcohol fuel blends typically stay in the
  same price range, while alcohol has been cheaper.
One of the biggest differences between water and an oily liquid such as octane,
  a component of petroleum, is surface tension.
And yet what the average pigeon lacks in iq octane, it appears to make up in
  reproductive prowess.
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