noun[mass noun] Chemistry
A colourless crystalline aromatic hydrocarbon obtained by the distillation of crude oils and used in chemical manufacture.
- A tricyclic compound; chemical formula: C14H10
- The raw materials for today's dyes are mainly aromatic hydrocarbons: benzene, toluene, naphthalene, anthracene, pyrene, and others.
- Common aromatic compounds other than benzene include toluene, naphthalene, and anthracene, all of which are present in coal tar or creosote.
- The chemists had some knowledge not only of the formula but also of the chemical structure of anthracene, which they knew to be related to that of alizarin.
Mid 19th century: from Greek anthrax, anthrak- 'coal' + -ene.
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