[ klawr-uh l, klohr- ]
/ ˈklɔr əl, ˈkloʊr- /


Also called trichloroacetaldehyde, trichloroacetic acid aldehyde. a colorless, oily liquid, C2Cl3HO, having a pungent odor, usually derived by the chlorination of ethyl alcohol or of acetaldehyde and combining with water to form chloral hydrate.
Also called chloral hydrate. Pharmacology. a white, crystalline solid, C2H3Cl3O2, formed by combining liquid chloral with water: used as a hypnotic.

Origin of chloral

First recorded in 1825–35; chlor-2 + -al3 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for chloral

British Dictionary definitions for chloral


/ (ˈklɔːrəl) /


a colourless oily liquid with a pungent odour, made from chlorine and acetaldehyde and used in preparing chloral hydrate and DDT; trichloroacetaldehyde
short for chloral hydrate
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 chloral



colorless liquid formed by the action of chlorine on alcohol, apparently coined by German chemist Justus von Liebig in 1833 from elements from chlorine + alcohol. Later chiefly in chloral hydrate (1874).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper