[ naf-thuh-leen, nap- ]
/ ˈnæf θəˌlin, ˈnæp- /
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noun Chemistry.
a white, crystalline, water-insoluble hydrocarbon, C10H8, usually obtained from coal tar: used in making dyes, as a moth repellant, etc.
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Also naph·tha·line, naph·tha·lin [naf-thuh-lin, nap-]. /ˈnæf θə lɪn, ˈnæp-/.
Also called tar camphor .

Origin of naphthalene

First recorded in 1865–70; naphth- + -al3 + -ene

OTHER WORDS FROM naphthalene

naph·thal·ic [naf-thal-ik, nap-], /næfˈθæl ɪk, næp-/, naph·tha·len·ic [naf-thuh-len-ik, nap-], /ˌnæf θəˈlɛn ɪk, ˌnæp-/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use naphthalene in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for naphthalene


naphthaline naphthalin (ˈnæfθəlɪn, ˈnæp-)

/ (ˈnæfθəˌliːn, ˈnæp-) /

a white crystalline volatile solid with a characteristic penetrating odour: an aromatic hydrocarbon used in mothballs and in the manufacture of dyes, explosives, etc. Formula: C 10 H 8

Derived forms of naphthalene

naphthalic (næfˈθælɪk, næp-), adjective

Word Origin for naphthalene

C19: from naphtha + alcohol + -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

Medical definitions for naphthalene


A toxic carcinogenic hydrocarbon derived from coal tar or petroleum and used as a solvent.

Other words from naphthalene

naph′tha•lenic (-lĕnĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for naphthalene

[ năfthə-lēn′ ]

A white crystalline compound made from coal tar or petroleum and used to make dyes, mothballs, explosives, and solvents. Naphthalene consists of two benzene rings fused together. Chemical formula: C10H8.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.