[ak-ruh-loh-nahy-tril, -treel, -trahyl]

noun Chemistry.

a colorless, flammable, poisonous, carcinogenic liquid, C3H3N, used for the production of polymers and copolymers, as rubbers, fibers, and clear plastics for beverage containers.

Origin of acrylonitrile

First recorded in 1890–95; acryl(ic) + -o- + nitrile Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for acrylonitrile



a colourless liquid that is miscible with water and has toxic fumes: used in the manufacture of acrylic fibres and resins, rubber, and thermoplastics. Formula: CH 2 :CHCNAlso called: vinylcyanide

Word Origin for acrylonitrile

C20: from acrylic + nitrile
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

acrylonitrile in Science


[ăk′rə-lō-nītrəl, -trēl, -trīl]

A colorless, poisonous, liquid organic compound having a wide variety of industrial uses, such as in the manufacture of acrylic fibers, resins, and acrylamide. Chemical formula: C3H3N.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.