• synonyms


[fur-fyuh-ral, -fuh-]
  1. a colorless, oily liquid, C5H4O2, having an aromatic odor, obtained from bran, sugar, wood, corncobs, or the like, by distillation: used chiefly in the manufacture of plastics and as a solvent in the refining of lubricating oils.
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Origin of furfural

1875–80; < Latin furfur bran + -al3
Also called fur·fur·al·de·hyde [fur-fyuh-ral-duh-hahyd, -fuh-] /ˌfɜr fyəˈræl dəˌhaɪd, -fə-/, pyromucic aldehyde.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for furfural

Historical Examples

  • (b) Yield of furfural from cellulose, oxy- and hydro-cellulose.

    Researches on Cellulose

    C. F. Cross

  • The proportion of furfural obtained amounts to 3-4 per cent.

  • The residues were found to yield considerable proportions of furfural.

  • Thus, notably in regard to furfural yielding constituents, the latter yield 1-2 p.ct.

  • But the most characteristic feature is the high yield of furfural on boiling with condensing acids.

furfural in Science


  1. A colorless, sweet-smelling, liquid made from corncobs and used as a solvent in petroleum refining and as a fungicide and weed killer. It turns reddish brown when exposed to air and light. Furfural is an aldehyde of furan. Chemical formula: C5H4O2.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.