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[zahy-leen] /ˈzaɪ lin/
noun, Chemistry
any of three oily, colorless, water-insoluble, flammable, toxic, isomeric liquids, C 8 H 10 , of the benzene series, obtained mostly from coal tar: used chiefly in the manufacture of dyes.
Also, xylol [zahy-lawl, -lol] /ˈzaɪ lɔl, -lɒl/ (Show IPA).
Also called dimethylbenzene.
Origin of xylene
1850-55; < Greek xýl(on) wood + -ene Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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another name (not in technical usage) for xylene


an aromatic hydrocarbon existing in three isomeric forms, all three being colourless flammable volatile liquids used as solvents and in the manufacture of synthetic resins, dyes, and insecticides; dimethylbenzene. Formula: C6H4(CH3)2 Also called xylol
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for xylol



1851, from Greek xylon "wood," which is of unknown origin, + -ene.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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xylol in Science
xylene (zī-lēn', zī'lēn') also xylol
  (zī-lēn', zī'lēn')   
  1. A flammable hydrocarbon obtained from wood and coal tar. Xylene consists of a benzene ring with two methyl (CH3) groups attached, and occurs in three isomeric forms. It is used as a solvent, in jet fuel, and in the manufacture of dyes, fibers, perfumes, and films. Chemical formula: C8H10.

  2. A mixture of xylene isomers used as a solvent in making lacquers and rubber cement and as an aviation fuel.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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