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

  • n. A colorless crystalline terpene, C10H16, used in the manufacture of synthetic camphor and insecticides.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Bicyclic monoterpene, a minor constituent of many essential oils.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One of a series of substances C10H16, resembling camphor, regarded as modified terpenes.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The generic name of the volatile oils or hydrocarbons having the general formula C10H16, which are isomeric or polymeric with oil of turpentine.
  • n. The commercial term for purified oil of turpentine, obtained by distilling the crude oil over quicklime to free it from resin.
  • n. Dextrocamphene (austracamphene) and levocamphene (terecamphene) are made by heating oil of turpentine, saturated with hydrochloric-acid gas, with alcoholic potash. They are crystalline and melt at 51–52° C. They rotate plane-polarized light in opposite directions. Inactive α-camphene is similar to the preceding, but it is optically inactive and melts at 47° C.


camph(or) + -ene.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)


  • Listen, Mel, I don’t have much time and I need some information about a substance called camphene.

    A Lincoln Rhyme eBook Boxed Set

  • He called this oil “kerosene”—from Keros and elaion, the Greek words, respectively, for “wax” and “oil,” altering the elaion to ene, so that his product would sound more like the familiar camphene.

    The Prize

  • For the war cut off the shipment of turpentine from the South, creating an acute shortage of camphene, the cheap illuminating oil derived from turpentine.

    The Prize

  • That one bit of trace I never did find a source for: camphene.

    A Lincoln Rhyme eBook Boxed Set

  • Paint sugar yeast dirt camphene paint dirt sugar . . . yeast . . . yeast . . .

    A Lincoln Rhyme eBook Boxed Set

  • I assumed that because toxaphene was illegal there was no point in considering pesticides as the source for the camphene and that it had to be from old lanterns.

    A Lincoln Rhyme eBook Boxed Set

  • They could narrow the search to old houses—because of the camphene lamp—and to ones set back from the beach itself—because of the maple and oak leaf trace.

    A Lincoln Rhyme eBook Boxed Set

  • And when I did—this morning—I found the source of the camphene.

    A Lincoln Rhyme eBook Boxed Set

  • The camphene lamps are from the 1800s so the place is old, probably Victorian era.

    A Lincoln Rhyme eBook Boxed Set

  • Rhyme read aloud: Kerosene, more ammonia, more nitrates and that camphene again.

    A Lincoln Rhyme eBook Boxed Set


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