[ eth-uh-leen ]
/ ˈɛθ əˌlin /


containing the ethylene group.


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

First recorded in 1850–55; ethyl + -ene


eth·yl·e·nic [eth-uh-lee-nik, -len-ik] /ˌɛθ əˈli nɪk, -ˈlɛn ɪk/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ethylene

British Dictionary definitions for ethylene

/ (ˈɛθɪˌliːn) /


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 2Also 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

Medicine definitions for ethylene

[ ĕthə-lēn′ ]


An explosive gas derived from natural gas and petroleum infrequently used as an inhalation anesthetic.ethene
The bivalent hydrocarbon radical C2H4 that is isomeric to the ethylidene radical.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for ethylene

[ ĕthə-lēn′ ]

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.