[naf-theen, nap-]
noun Chemistry.
  1. any of a group of hydrocarbon ring compounds of the general formula, CnH2n, derivatives of cyclopentane and cyclohexane, found in certain petroleums.

Origin of naphthene

First recorded in 1840–50; naphth- + -ene
Related formsnaph·the·nic [naf-thee-nik, -then-ik, nap-] /næfˈθi nɪk, -ˈθɛn ɪk, næp-/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for naphthenic


  1. any of a class of cycloalkanes, mainly derivatives of cyclopentane, found in petroleum

Word Origin for naphthene

C20: from naphtha + -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

naphthenic in Science


[năfthēn′, năp-]
  1. See cycloalkane.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.