Definition of xylene in English:


Line breaks: xy¦lene
Pronunciation: /ˈzʌɪliːn


[mass noun] Chemistry
  • A volatile liquid hydrocarbon obtained by distilling wood, coal tar, or petroleum, used in fuels and solvents and in chemical synthesis.
    • Alternative name: dimethylbenzene; chemical formula: C6H4(CH3)2; three isomers
    More example sentences
    • Petroleum fuels contain several toxic compounds, including benzene, toluene and xylene - all considered carcinogens.
    • Fuels such as petroleum are mixtures of various hydrocarbons, and may contain benzene, toluene, xylene, and styrene, and other components.
    • If you do insist on using solvents, avoid low-flash point solvents like gasoline, xylene, lacquer thinner, etc. which are dangerously flammable.


mid 19th century: from xylo- 'of wood' + -ene.

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a small amount; a little