[ nahy-tril, -treel, -trahyl ]

  1. any of a class of organic compounds with the general formula RC≡N.

Origin of nitrile

1840–50; nitr- + -ile, perhaps variant of -yl

Words Nearby nitrile Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use nitrile in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for nitrile


/ (ˈnaɪtrɪl, -traɪl) /

  1. any one of a class of organic compounds containing the monovalent group -CN: Also called (not in technical usage): cyanide

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

Scientific definitions for nitrile


  1. An organic compound, such as acrylonitrile, containing the cyanide group CN. Nitriles are typically colorless solids or liquids and have a distinctive smell.

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