a suffix used to form names of unsaturated hydrocarbons (anthracene; benzene), especially those of the alkene series (butylene).

Nearby words

  1. -en,
  2. -ence,
  3. -enchyma,
  4. -ency,
  5. -end,
  6. -enne,
  7. -enoic,
  8. -ensis,
  9. -ent,
  10. -eous

Origin of -ene

< Greek -ēnē, feminine of -ēnos, adj. suffix denoting origin or source

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for -ene


n combining form

(in chemistry) indicating an unsaturated compound containing double bondsbenzene; ethylene

Word Origin for -ene

from Greek -ēnē, feminine patronymic suffix

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 -ene


hydrocarbon suffix, from Greek name-forming suffic -ene; it has no real meaning in itself; probably abstracted mid-19c. from methylene (1834). Put in systematic use by Hofmann (1865). "The breakdown of methylene into methyl and -ene, and the identification of the last syllable of methyl with the general suffix -ly, led to the use of meth- as a separate combining-element, as, for example, in methane, methacrylic [Flood].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for -ene



An unsaturated organic compound, especially one containing a double bond between carbon atoms:ethylene.

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

Science definitions for -ene


A suffix used to form the names of hydrocarbons having one or more double bonds, such as benzene.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.