[ an-thruh-seen ]
/ ˈæn θrəˌsin /

noun Chemistry.

a colorless, crystalline powder, C14H12, obtained from coal tar and having a violet fluorescence: used chiefly as a source of anthraquinone and alizarin, and in the process of measuring radioactive materials.

Origin of anthracene

First recorded in 1860–65; anthrac- + -ene Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for anthracene

British Dictionary definitions for anthracene


/ (ˈænθrəˌsiːn) /


a colourless tricyclic crystalline solid having a slight blue fluorescence, used in the manufacture of chemicals, esp diphenylamine and alizarin, and as crystals in scintillation counters. Formula: C 6 H 4 (CH) 2 C 6 H 4

Word Origin for anthracene

C19: from anthrax + -ene
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 anthracene


[ ănthrə-sēn′ ]

A crystalline hydrocarbon that consists of three benzene rings fused together. It is extracted from coal tar and is used to make dyes and organic chemicals. Chemical formula: C14H10.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.