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formaldehyde

[fawr-mal-duh-hahyd, fer-]
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noun Chemistry.
  1. a colorless, toxic, potentially carcinogenic, water-soluble gas, CH2O, having a suffocating odor, usually derived from methyl alcohol by oxidation: used chiefly in aqueous solution, as a disinfectant and preservative, and in the manufacture of various resins and plastics.
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Origin of formaldehyde

1870–75; form(ic) + aldehyde; modeled on German Formaldehyd
Also called methanal.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for formaldehyde

formaldehyde

noun
  1. a colourless poisonous irritating gas with a pungent characteristic odour, made by the oxidation of methanol and used as formalin and in the manufacture of synthetic resins. Formula: HCHOSystematic name: methanal
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Word Origin

C19: form (ic) + aldehyde; on the model of German Formaldehyd
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 formaldehyde

n.

pungent gas formed by oxidation of methyl alcohol, 1869, a contraction of formic aldehyde; see formic + aldehyde. Discovered in 1863 by German chemist August Wilhelm von Hofmann (1818-1892).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

formaldehyde in Medicine

formaldehyde

(fôr-măldə-hīd′)
n.
  1. A colorless, gaseous compound that is the simplest aldehyde, used for manufacturing melamine and phenolic resins, fertilizers, dyes, and embalming fluids and in aqueous solution as a preservative and disinfectant.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

formaldehyde in Science

formaldehyde

[fôr-măldə-hīd′]
  1. A colorless gas having a sharp, suffocating odor. It is used in making plastics and, when dissolved in a solution of water and methanol, to preserve biological specimens. Chemical formula: CH2O.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.