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xylene

[zahy-leen]
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noun Chemistry.
  1. any of three oily, colorless, water-insoluble, flammable, toxic, isomeric liquids, C8H10, of the benzene series, obtained mostly from coal tar: used chiefly in the manufacture of dyes.
Also xy·lol [zahy-lawl, -lol] /ˈzaɪ lɔl, -lɒl/.

Origin of xylene

1850–55; < Greek xýl(on) wood + -ene
Also called dimethylbenzene.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for xylene

Historical Examples

  • So is xylene, a chemical which will readily clean grease and fatty matter from the fingers.

    The Science of Fingerprints

    Federal Bureau of Investigation

  • The fingers should be wiped very lightly with either soap and water or xylene, always following the ridge contours.

    The Science of Fingerprints

    Federal Bureau of Investigation

  • If the substance dries too fast to permit proper photographing, the skin should be photographed while immersed in the xylene.

    The Science of Fingerprints

    Federal Bureau of Investigation

  • The fingers are then placed in xylene for about an hour or until the xylene has overcome the reaction of the acetone.

    The Science of Fingerprints

    Federal Bureau of Investigation

  • After removal from the xylene the fingers should be placed on a blotter until the surface of the fingers appears dry.

    The Science of Fingerprints

    Federal Bureau of Investigation


British Dictionary definitions for xylene

xylene

noun
  1. 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: C 6 H 4 (CH 3) 2Also called: xylol
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

Word Origin and History for xylene

n.

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

xylene in Science

xylene

[zī-lēn, zīlēn′]
  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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.