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noun Chemistry.
  1. a monosaccharide containing five atoms of carbon, as xylose, C5H10O5, or produced from pentosans by hydrolysis.

Origin of pentose

< German (1890); see pent(a)-, -ose2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for pentose

Historical Examples

  • From the solution the author isolated crystalline galactose, but failed to isolate a pentose.

    Researches on Cellulose

    C. F. Cross

  • The time increase was less pronounced in the presence of the three pentose sugars used.

  • It is usual to regard furfural as invariably produced from a pentose residue.

  • But most of the natural gums yield a mixture of galactose, some pentose, and some complex organic acid.

    The Chemistry of Plant Life

    Roscoe Wilfred Thatcher

  • They bear the same relation to the pentose sugars as do the dextrosans to glucose, etc.

    The Chemistry of Plant Life

    Roscoe Wilfred Thatcher

British Dictionary definitions for pentose


  1. any monosaccharide containing five atoms of carbon per molecule: occur mainly in plants and the nucleic acids

Word Origin

C20: from penta- + -ose ²
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

pentose in Medicine


(pĕntōs′, -tōz′)
  1. Any of a class of monosaccharides having five carbon atoms per molecule and including ribose and several other sugars.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

pentose in Science


  1. Any of a class of simple sugars (monosaccharides) having five carbon atoms per molecule. Ribose and deoxyribose are pentoses.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.