[ klawr-uh-fawrm, klohr- ]
/ ˈklɔr əˌfɔrm, ˈkloʊr- /


Also called trichloromethane. Chemistry, Pharmacology. a colorless, volatile, nonflammable, slightly water-soluble, pungent, sweet-tasting liquid, CHCl3, usually derived from acetone, acetaldehyde, or ethyl alcohol by the reaction of chloride of lime: used chiefly in medicine as a solvent and formerly as an anesthetic.

verb (used with object)

to administer chloroform to, especially in order to anesthetize, make unconscious, or kill.
to put chloroform on (a cloth, object, etc.).

Origin of chloroform

First recorded in 1830–40; chloro-2 + form(yl)


chlo·ro·for·mic, adjectivepre·chlo·ro·form, verb (used with object) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for chloroform

British Dictionary definitions for chloroform

/ (ˈklɔːrəˌfɔːm) /


a heavy volatile liquid with a sweet taste and odour, used as a solvent and cleansing agent and in refrigerants: formerly used as an inhalation anaesthetic. Formula: CHCl 3Systematic name: trichloromethane

Word Origin for chloroform

C19: from chloro- + form (yl) (in an obsolete sense that applied to a CH radical)
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

Medicine definitions for chloroform

[ klôrə-fôrm′ ]


A clear, colorless, heavy, sweet-smelling liquid used sometimes as a general anesthetic; it has generally been replaced by less toxic, more easily controlled agents.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for chloroform

[ klôrə-fôrm′ ]

A colorless, toxic, sweet-tasting liquid formed by combining methane with chlorine. It is used as a solvent and was once widely used as an anesthetic. Chemical formula: CHCl3.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.