[ nahy-tril, -treel, -trahyl ]
/ ˈnaɪ trɪl, -tril, -traɪl /

noun Chemistry.

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

Origin of nitrile

1840–50; nitr- + -ile, perhaps variant of -yl Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for nitrile

British Dictionary definitions for nitrile

/ (ˈnaɪtrɪl, -traɪl) /


any one of a class of organic compounds containing the monovalent group -CNAlso 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

Medical definitions for nitrile



An organic cyanide containing a CN group.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for nitrile


An organic compound, such as acrylonitrile, containing the cyanide group CN. Nitriles are typically colorless solids or liquids and have a distinctive smell.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.