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[meth-uh-leen] /ˈmɛθ əˌlin/
adjective, Chemistry.
containing the methylene group.
Origin of methylene
< French méthylène (coined in 1834), equivalent to Greek méth(y) wine (see mead1) + hýl(ē) wood + French -ène -ene, taken to mean “wood-spirits” (vin ou liqueur spiritueuse du bois), though elements of the compound are in the wrong order to give this sense Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for methylene
Historical Examples
  • Dr Richardson says of this latter it is not so quick in its action as the methylene chloride, but that it is safer.

  • Bichloride of methylene has been used for ansthetic purposes.

    Memoranda on Poisons Thomas Hawkes Tanner
  • Ehrlich has used a double stain with neutral red and methylene blue.

    Histology of the Blood Paul Ehrlich
  • If hydrogen sulphide is passed through a solution of methylene blue the dye is very quickly reduced and becomes colorless.

    The Nature of Animal Light E. Newton Harvey
  • The stains of most importance are carmine, methylene blue, hmatoxylin, gold chloride and Bismarck brown.

  • This reduction is brought about under conditions similar to those necessary for the reduction of dyes, such as methylene blue.

    The Nature of Animal Light E. Newton Harvey
  • By the action of nitrous acid the blue is converted into a green known as “methylene green.”

    Coal Raphael Meldola
  • Chloride of methylene is a colourless mobile fluid, having a smell like chloroform, and a burning taste.

  • methylene blue can be reduced by the H2 and the hypophosphite oxidized.

    The Nature of Animal Light E. Newton Harvey
  • There is no reduction if the milk, methylene blue, and aldehyde are agitated with air.

    The Nature of Animal Light E. Newton Harvey
British Dictionary definitions for methylene


(modifier) of, consisting of, or containing the divalent group of atoms =CH2: a methylene group or radical
Word Origin
C19: from French méthylène, from Greek methu wine + hulē wood + -ene: originally referring to a substance distilled from wood
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 methylene

1835, from French méthylène (1834), coined by Jean-Baptiste-André Dumas (1800-1884) and Eugène-Melchior Péligot (1811-1890) from Greek methy "wine" (see mead (n.1)) + -yl "stuff" + chemical suffix -ene. So called because detected in wood alcohol.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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methylene in Medicine

methylene meth·yl·ene (měth'ə-lēn')
A bivalent hydrocarbon radical, CH2, that is a component of unsaturated hydrocarbons and is derived from methane by the removal of two hydrogen atoms.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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methylene in Science
A bivalent hydrocarbon radical, CH2. Because it has two unshared electrons, it is extremely reactive and occurs only as an intermediate byproduct in chemical reactions. Methylene is a component of unsaturated hydrocarbons.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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