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univalent alcohol radical found in spermaceti, beeswax, etc., 1842, from Latin cetus "whale" (see Cetacea) + -yl.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Examples from the Web for cetyl
Historical Examples
  • It is a combination of palmitic acid and a peculiar hydrocarbon, called (after the whale) "cetyl," and easily forms pure crystals.

    More Science From an Easy Chair

    Sir E. Ray (Edwin Ray) Lankester
cetyl in Medicine

cetyl ce·tyl (sēt'l)
The univalent radical C16H33 occurring in compounds found in waxes.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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