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a suffix used in the names of radicals:
Origin of -yl
< French -yle < Greek hȳ́lē matter, wood, substance Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for -yl


(in chemistry) indicating a group or radical: methyl, carbonyl
Word Origin
from Greek hulē wood, matter
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 -yl

chemical suffix used in forming names of radicals, from French -yle, from Greek hyle "wood," also "building stuff, raw material" (from which something is made).

It was introduced into chemical nomenclature by Liebig and Wohler when, in 1832, they used the term benzoyle for the radical which appeared to be the "essential material" of benzoic acid and related compounds. [Flood]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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-yl in Medicine

-yl suff.
A monovalent organic acid radical: carbonyl.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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-yl in Science
A suffix used to form the chemical names of organic compounds when they are radicals (parts of larger compounds), such as ethyl and phenyl.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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