• synonyms


adjective Chemistry.
  1. containing the methylene group.
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Origin of methylene

< French méthylène (coined in 1834), equivalent to Greek méth(y) wine (see mead1) + hýl(ē) wood + French -ène -ene, taken to mean “wood-spirits” (vin ou liqueur spiritueuse du bois), though elements of the compound are in the wrong order to give this sense
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for methylene

Historical Examples

  • Ehrlich has used a double stain with neutral red and methylene blue.

    Histology of the Blood

    Paul Ehrlich

  • Bichloride of Methylene has been used for ansthetic purposes.

    Memoranda on Poisons

    Thomas Hawkes Tanner

  • In 48 hours bacteria appear and methylene blue is also reduced.

  • Methylene blue can be reduced by the H2 and the hypophosphite oxidized.

  • As methylene blue contains no oxygen, its reduction consists in the addition of two atoms of hydrogen.

British Dictionary definitions for methylene


  1. (modifier) of, consisting of, or containing the divalent group of atoms =CH 2a methylene group or radical
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Word Origin

C19: from French méthylène, from Greek methu wine + hulē wood + -ene : originally referring to a substance distilled from wood
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 methylene


1835, from French méthylène (1834), coined by Jean-Baptiste-André Dumas (1800-1884) and Eugène-Melchior Péligot (1811-1890) from Greek methy "wine" (see mead (n.1)) + -yl "stuff" + chemical suffix -ene. So called because detected in wood alcohol.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

methylene in Medicine


  1. A bivalent hydrocarbon radical, CH2, that is a component of unsaturated hydrocarbons and is derived from methane by the removal of two hydrogen atoms.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

methylene in Science


  1. A bivalent hydrocarbon radical, CH2. Because it has two unshared electrons, it is extremely reactive and occurs only as an intermediate byproduct in chemical reactions. Methylene is a component of unsaturated hydrocarbons.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.