• synonyms


[an-l-in, -ahyn]
  1. Also called aniline oil, aminobenzine, phenylamine. Chemistry. a colorless, oily, slightly water-soluble liquid, C6H5NH2, usually derived from nitrobenzene by reduction: used chiefly in the synthesis of dyes and drugs.
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  1. pertaining to or derived from aniline: aniline colors.
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Also an·i·lin [an-l-in] /ˈæn l ɪn/.

Origin of aniline

First recorded in 1840–50; anil + -ine2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for aniline

Historical Examples

  • The resulting compound is known as aniline, a liquid boiling at 182°.

    An Elementary Study of Chemistry

    William McPherson

  • For what are aniline, paraffine, naphtha, and carbolic acid used?

    Commercial Geography

    Jacques W. Redway

  • Unfortunately, the facility with which aniline dyes can be used is not unknown.

    How to make rugs

    Candace Wheeler

  • A woman is worth more than to be subordinated to an aniline dye.

  • How does its application to wood effect the color and value of aniline stain?

    Industrial Arts Design

    William H. Varnum

British Dictionary definitions for aniline


  1. a colourless oily pungent poisonous liquid used in the manufacture of dyes, plastics, pharmaceuticals, and explosives. Formula: C 6 H 5 NH 2Also called: phenylamine
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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 aniline


chemical base used in making colorful dyes, 1843, coined 1841 by German chemist Carl Julius Fritzsche (1808-1871) and adopted by Hofmann, ultimately from Portuguese anil "the indigo shrub," from Arabic an-nil "the indigo," assimilated from al-nil, from Persian nila, ultimately from Sanskrit nili "indigo," from nilah "dark blue." With chemical suffix -ine (2).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

aniline in Medicine


  1. An oily, poisonous benzene derivative used in the manufacture of dyes and pharmaceuticals.
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  1. Derived from aniline.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

aniline in Science


  1. A colorless, oily, poisonous compound used in the manufacture of rubber, dyes, resins, pharmaceuticals, and varnishes. Aniline is an amine of benzene. Chemical formula: C6H7N.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.