A sulfur-containing organic compound with the general formula RSH where R is any radical, especially ethyl mercaptan, C2H5SH. Also called thiol.(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 "mercaptan" in a sentence
""In case you weren't aware, methyl mercaptan is commonly used as an odorant in natural gas, the better to detect leaks at very low concentrations.""
"But he did say they happen all the time, and oftentimes they add this chemical called mercaptan so that you can actually detect and smell the natural gas because normally you can't."
"One of those compounds is called methyl mercaptan, which is the same chemical which gives a skunk its defensive smell."