• synonyms


noun Chemistry.
  1. a colorless, volatile, water-insoluble liquid, C5H8, of the terpene class, usually obtained from rubber or from oil of turpentine by pyrolysis: used chiefly in the manufacture of synthetic rubber by polymerization.
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Origin of isoprene

1855–60; iso- + -pr- (< ?) + -ene; see terpene
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for isoprene

Historical Examples

  • Isoprene could be obtained from turpentine, but this was too expensive and limited in supply.

    Creative Chemistry

    Edwin E. Slosson

  • The difficulty lay rather in the cost of the raw material, isoprene.

    Creative Chemistry

    Edwin E. Slosson

  • Isoprene, from which Dr. Tilden produced India rubber, is comparatively a new product, as derived from oil of turpentine.

  • This is the first instance on record of the spontaneous change of isoprene into India rubber.

  • Isoprene is a very volatile liquid, boiling at a temperature of about 30 degrees Fahrenheit.

British Dictionary definitions for isoprene


  1. a colourless volatile liquid with a penetrating odour: used in making synthetic rubbers. Formula: CH 2 :CHC(CH 3):CH 2Systematic name: methylbuta-1,3-diene
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Word Origin

C20: from iso- + pr (opyl) + -ene
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

isoprene in Medicine


  1. A colorless volatile hydrocarbon that is the naturally occurring basis of isoprenoids and that is used in the production of synthetic rubber.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

isoprene in Science


  1. A colorless, volatile liquid obtained from petroleum or coal tar and occurring naturally in many plants. It is used chiefly to make synthetic rubber. The isoprene in plants occurs in the chloroplasts and is used to build terpenes and other biologically important chemicals. Chemical formula: C5H8.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.