Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of three flammable isomeric hydrocarbons, C6H4(CH3)2, obtained from wood and coal tar.
  • n. A mixture of xylene isomers used as a solvent in making lacquers and rubber cement and as an aviation fuel.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of a group of three isomeric aromatic hydrocarbons, di-methyl-benzene, found in coal and wood tar.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any of a group of three metameric hydrocarbons of the aromatic series, found in coal and wood tar, and so named because found in crude wood spirit. They are colorless, oily, inflammable liquids, C6H4.(CH3)2, being dimethyl benzenes, and are called respectively orthoxylene, metaxylene, and paraxylene. Called also xylol.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Any one of the three metameric dimethyl benzines C6H4 (CH3)2. They are volatile, inflammable liquids obtained from wood-spirit and from coal-tar. Also xylol, xylole.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a colorless flammable volatile liquid hydrocarbon used as a solvent

Etymologies

From Ancient Greek ξύλον (ksulon, "wood") + -ene. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • From this tar are produced a pound of benzine, a pound of toluene, a pound and a half of phenol, six pounds of naphthalene, a small quantity of a material called xylene and half a pound of anthracene, which is used in dyeing.

    Golden Days for Boys and Girls, Vol. XIII, Nov. 28, 1891

  • Records show the company uses carcinogenic chemicals such as xylene and ethylbenzene as well as the chemical phenol, which is listed as a hazardous air pollutant, in its coatings for the wire.

    Tennessean.com Ashland City Times

  • The plant uses carcinogenic chemicals such as xylene and ethylbenzene as well as the chemical phenol, which is listed as a hazardous air pollutant, in its coatings for the wire,

    Tennessean.com Top News

  • Last week the EPA collected air samples around New Orleans to test for pollutants like benzene, toluene and xylene.

    Eco-Justice

  • Edward Markey, D-Mass., and Diana DeGette, D-Colo., said they hope to find more information on some of the chemicals used in the drilling process, including benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene.

    Halliburton & Other 'Fracking' Companies May Have Violated Safe Drinking Water Act

  • Products commonly abused include toluene, xylene, gasoline, tetraethyl lead and acetone.

    Freon Abuse

  • Toluene, xylene, and benzene belong to the cyclic, aromatic group of hydrocarbons.

    Hydrocarbon Ingestion

  • The solvents toluene and xylene are commonly abused for the euphoric effects produced by inhalation through techniques such as "huffing" or "bagging."

    Hydrocarbon Ingestion

  • The tsunami of gas drilling operations in bucolic areas brings more than increased truck traffic and congestion; locals are now complaining of health problems ranging from asthma and migraines to air and ground water contaminated by carcinogens like benzene and xylene.

    Rocky Kistner: After the Gas Rush (Part 1)

  • Natural gas companies have insisted that their newly popular hydraulic fracturing known as "fracking" techniques are safe, but as Care2's Kristina Chew reports, "environmentalists and regulators have become increasingly concerned that the fracking chemicals--including toluene, xylene and benzene, a carcinogen, which are all from diesel gas---are seeping out into underground sources of drinking water, in violation of the Safe Water Drinking Act."

    The Media Consortium: Weekly Mulch: The Dirty Truth about Natural Gas and Energy Innovation

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