formaldehyde

[ fawr-mal-duh-hahyd, fer- ]
/ fɔrˈmæl dəˌhaɪd, fər- /

noun Chemistry.

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.
Compare formalin.

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for formaldehyde

British Dictionary definitions for formaldehyde

formaldehyde

/ (fɔːˈmældɪˌhaɪd) /

noun

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

Word Origin for formaldehyde

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

Medicine definitions for formaldehyde

formaldehyde

[ fôr-măldə-hīd′ ]

n.

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.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for formaldehyde

formaldehyde

[ fôr-măldə-hīd′ ]

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.

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