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

  • n. Any of eight isomers of the alcohol composition C5H11OH, one of which is the principal constituent of fusel oil.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of the isomers of pentanol, C5H11OH; the principal constituent of fusel oil.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Any of eight isomeric liquid alcohols (C5H11.OH), transparent, colorless liquids. It is the hydroxide of amyl. Also called amylic alcohol. The amyl alcohol obtained from fusel oil is mostly isoamyl alcohol (3-methyl-1-butanol or 1-hydroxy-3-methylbutane), with some sec-amyl alcohol (2-methyl-1-butanol or 2-pentanol), and has a characteristic peculiar odor. Other than n-amyl alcohol (also called 1-pentanol) the other isomeric pentanols are not usually refered to as amyl alcohol. The amyl alcohol mixture in fusel oil forms a colorless liquid with a peculiar cough-exciting odor and burning taste. It is used as a source of amyl compounds, such as amyl acetate, amyl nitrite, etc.

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

  • n. a mixture of 2 or more isomeric alcohols; used as a solvent and in organic synthesis


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