naphthalene

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

Origin of naphthalene

First recorded in 1865–70; naphth- + -al3 + -ene
Also called tar camphor.
Related formsnaph·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. 2018

Examples from the Web for naphthalene

Historical Examples of naphthalene

  • As aniline is to benzene, so are the naphthylamines to naphthalene.

    Coal

    Raphael Meldola

  • The important constituents of this portion are carbolic acid and naphthalene.

    Coal

    Raphael Meldola

  • The story of naphthalene is summarized in the schemes on pp. 164, 165.

    Coal

    Raphael Meldola

  • It is possible to start from benzene, toluene or naphthalene.

    Creative Chemistry

    Edwin E. Slosson

  • An excess of naphthalene should also be avoided, since, on account of its strong odour, soaps containing much of it are unpopular.


British Dictionary definitions for naphthalene

naphthalene

naphthaline naphthalin (ˈnæfθəlɪn, ˈnæp-)

noun
  1. 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 Formsnaphthalic (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

Word Origin and History for naphthalene
n.

1821, coined by English chemist John Kidd (1775-1851), who first isolated and studied it, from naphtha + chemical suffix -ine (2) + -l- for the sake of euphony.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

naphthalene in Medicine

naphthalene

n.
  1. A toxic carcinogenic hydrocarbon derived from coal tar or petroleum and used as a solvent.
Related formsnaph′tha•lenic (-lĕnĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

naphthalene in Science

naphthalene

[năfthə-lēn′]
  1. 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.