Definition of mercaptan in English:


Syllabification: mer·cap·tan
Pronunciation: /mərˈkapˌtan


  • another term for thiol.
    More example sentences
    • Ethyl acetate, hydrogen sulphide, mercaptans, excess sulphur dioxide, and the smellable compounds generated by some bacteria all can be reasons for judging a wine faulty.
    • Even a healthy animal not exposed to noxious substances will have some toxins present in the body (e.g., mercaptans, short-chain fatty acids, skatoles, indoles, ketone bodies).
    • In the pure science section is the data surrounding the two chemicals ethyl mercaptan and butyl sereno-mercaptan which smell of a combination of rotting cabbage, garlic, onions, burned toast and sewers.


mid 19th century: from modern Latin mer(curium) captan(s), literally 'capturing mercury'.

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