[ 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.

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.

Words Nearby furfural

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use furfural in a sentence

  • This enables us to exclude the furfural-yielding groups from the lignone complex.

  • It is usual to regard furfural as invariably produced from a pentose residue.

  • The furfural constants of the lignocellulose are unaffected by the acetylation and condensation.

  • The smoke of a single cigaret may contain as much furfural as two ounces of whisky.

    How to Live | Irving Fisher and Eugene Fisk
  • (e) Molisch's reaction for furfural will be shown by those proteins which contain a carbohydrate group.

    The Chemistry of Plant Life | Roscoe Wilfred Thatcher

Scientific definitions for furfural


[ fûrfə-răl′ ]

  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.

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