Definition of nitrile in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈnʌɪtrʌɪl/


An organic compound containing a cyanide group —CN bound to an alkyl group.
Example sentences
  • Secondary and tertiary amides are prepared by reacting primary amides or nitriles with organic acids.
  • In this reaction, an ester joins with another ester, a ketone, or a nitrile.
  • They also rejected bridgehead double bonds and allenes, and (to my surprise) only allowed triple bonds for nitriles (so no acetylenes.)


Mid 19th century: from nitre + -ile (alteration of -yl).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ni|trile

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