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Definition of "alcohol" []

  • A colorless volatile flammable liquid, C2H5OH, synthesized or obtained by fermentation of sugars and starches and widely used, either pure or denatured, as a solvent and in drugs, cleaning solutions, explosives, and intoxicating beverages. Also called ethanol, ethyl alcohol, grain alcohol. (noun)
  • Intoxicating liquor containing alcohol. (noun)
  • Any of a series of hydroxyl compounds, the simplest of which are derived from saturated hydrocarbons, have the general formula CnH2n+1OH, and include ethanol and methanol. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "alcohol" in a sentence
  • "Methyl alcohol is obtained entirely from this source, and on this account is commonly called _wood alcohol_."
  • "In chemistry, the term alcohol is applied to a large family of substances with a similar molecular structure."
  • "Our word alcohol comes from medieval Arab alchemy, which strongly influenced Western science and gave it several other important terms, including chemistry, alkali, and algebra."