[ ak-ruh-loh-nahy-tril, -treel, -trahyl ]
/ ˌæk rə loʊˈnaɪ trɪl, -tril, -traɪl /

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.

Nearby words

  1. acrylic acid,
  2. acrylic ester,
  3. acrylic fiber,
  4. acrylic fibre,
  5. acrylic resin,
  6. acrylyl,
  7. acrylyl group,
  8. act,
  9. act call,
  10. act curtain

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


/ (ˌækrɪləʊˈnaɪtraɪl) /


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

Science definitions for acrylonitrile


[ 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.