ethylene

[ eth-uh-leen ]

adjective
  1. containing the ethylene group.

noun
  1. Also called ethene, olefiant gas. a colorless, flammable gas, C2H4, having a sweet, unpleasant odor and taste, the first member of the ethylene series, usually obtained from petroleum and natural gas: used as an agent to improve the color of citrus fruits, in the synthesis of polyethylene, ethylene dibromide, ethylene oxide, and other organic compounds, and in medicine chiefly as an inhalation anesthetic.

Origin of ethylene

1
First recorded in 1850–55; ethyl + -ene

Other words from ethylene

  • eth·yl·e·nic [eth-uh-lee-nik, -len-ik], /ˌɛθ əˈli nɪk, -ˈlɛn ɪk/, adjective

Words Nearby ethylene

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use ethylene in a sentence

  • Peltier said that continued exposure to ethylene oxide “is only going to amplify the risk” of a breast cancer recurrence.

    The Dirty Secret of America’s Clean Dishes | by Max Blau and Lylla Younes, photography by Kathleen Flynn, special to ProPublica | December 20, 2021 | ProPublica
  • Inside, BASF workers mix the ethylene oxide with an alcohol and a catalyst, “cook” the batch for hours at a high temperature and cool it off.

    The Dirty Secret of America’s Clean Dishes | by Max Blau and Lylla Younes, photography by Kathleen Flynn, special to ProPublica | December 20, 2021 | ProPublica
  • The EPA mentioned ethylene oxide, but it seemed like an afterthought, Heck said.

    When Home Is a Toxic Hot Spot | by Maya Miller, Alyssa Johnson, Lisa Song and Max Blau, photography by Kathleen Flynn, special to ProPublica | December 15, 2021 | ProPublica
  • The state agency carried out its own assessment on ethylene oxide, a chemical that contributes to the estimated cancer risk in this hot spot, and has concluded that it is less risky than the EPA says it is.

    When Home Is a Toxic Hot Spot | by Maya Miller, Alyssa Johnson, Lisa Song and Max Blau, photography by Kathleen Flynn, special to ProPublica | December 15, 2021 | ProPublica
  • These rooms are then pumped with ethylene gas — the same gas emitted from fruit as they begin to ripen — to begin a uniformed ripening process.

British Dictionary definitions for ethylene

ethylene

/ (ˈɛθɪˌliːn) /


noun
  1. a colourless flammable gaseous alkene with a sweet odour, obtained from petroleum and natural gas and used in the manufacture of polythene and many other chemicals. Formula: CH 2 :CH 2: Also called: ethene

Derived forms of ethylene

  • ethylenic (ˌɛθɪˈliːnɪk), adjective

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

Scientific definitions for ethylene

ethylene

[ ĕthə-lēn′ ]


  1. A colorless, flammable gas that occurs naturally in certain plants and can be obtained from petroleum and natural gas. As a plant hormone, it ripens and colors fruit, and it is manufactured for use in agriculture to speed these processes. It is also used as a fuel and in making plastics. Ethylene is the simplest alkene, consisting of two carbon atoms joined by a double bond and each attached to two hydrogen atoms. Also called ethene. Chemical formula: C2H4.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.