Definition of ethane in English:


Line breaks: eth¦ane
Pronunciation: /ˈiːθeɪn
, ˈɛθ-/


[mass noun] Chemistry
A colourless, odourless, flammable gas which is a constituent of petroleum and natural gas. It is the second member of the alkane series.
More example sentences
  • It consists mainly of methane, the simplest hydrocarbon, as well as small amounts of heavier, more complex hydrocarbons such as ethane, butane and propane.
  • The gas component may be ethane, propane, butane, carbon dioxide, or hydrogen sulphide, but is most commonly methane.
  • Some familiar examples include methane, ethane, propane, and kerosene.


late 19th century: from ether + -ane2.

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