benzene

[19] The original name given to this hydrocarbon, by the German chemist Eilhardt Mitscherlich in 1833, was benzine. He based it on the term benzoic acid, a derivative of benzoin, the name of a resinous substance exuded by trees of the genus Styrax. This came ultimately from Arabic lubān-jāwī, literally ‘frankincense of Java’ (the trees grow in Southeast Asia). When the expression was borrowed into the Romance languages, the initial lu- was apprehended as the definite article, and dropped (ironically, since in so many Arabic words which do contain the article al, it has been retained as part and parcel of the word – see ALGEBRA). This produced a variety of forms, including French benjoin, Portuguese beijoim, and Italian benzoi. English probably acquired the word mainly from French (a supposition supported by the folketymological alteration benjamin which was in common use in English from the end of the 16th century), but took the z from the Italian form. Meanwhile, back with benzine, in the following year, 1834, the German chemist Justus von Liebig proposed the alternative name benzol; and finally, in the 1870s, the chemist A W Hofmann regularized the form to currently accepted chemical nomenclature as benzene. => BENZOL

The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Benzène — Structure et représentations du benzène Général Nom IUPAC Benzène …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Benzene — Benzène Benzène Structure et représentations du benzène Général Nom IUPAC Benzène …   Wikipédia en Français

  • BENZÈNE — Le plus simple des hydrocarbures aromatiques. Formule: C6H6 Fréquemment symbolisé par: Masse moléculaire: 78,11 g Masse spécifique: 0,88 g/cm3 Point de fusion: 5,5 0C Point d’ébullition: 80,09 0C. Cristaux incolores dans le système orthorhombique …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Benzene — Ben zene, n. [From {Benzoin}.] (Chem.) A volatile, very inflammable liquid, {C6H6}, contained in the naphtha produced by the destructive distillation of coal, from which it is separated by fractional distillation. The name is sometimes applied… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • benzene — 1835, benzine, altered from Ger. Benzin, coined in 1833 by German chemist Eilhardt Mitscherlich (1794 1863) from Benz(oesäure) benzoic acid + ENE (Cf. ene) (Ger. in), hydrocarbon suffix. Mitscherlich obtained it from a distillation of benzoic… …   Etymology dictionary

  • benzene — ► NOUN Chemistry ▪ a volatile liquid hydrocarbon present in coal tar and petroleum. ORIGIN from BENZOIC ACID(Cf. ↑B) …   English terms dictionary

  • benzene — [ben′zēn, ben zēn′] n. [ BENZ(OIC) + ENE] a clear, flammable, poisonous, aromatic liquid, C6H6, obtained by scrubbing coal gas with oil and by the fractional distillation of coal tar: it is used as a solvent and in making a vast number of… …   English World dictionary

  • Benzene — For other uses, see Benzene (disambiguation). See also: Benzole Benzene …   Wikipedia

  • benzene — /ben zeen, ben zeen /, n. Chem. a colorless, volatile, flammable, toxic, slightly water soluble, liquid, aromatic compound, C6H6, obtained chiefly from coal tar: used in the manufacture of commercial and medicinal chemicals, dyes, and as a… …   Universalium

  • Benzene — A highly toxic hydrocarbon known to cause anemia and leukemia. The anemia associated with benzene exposure is termed aplastic anemia. Benzene is used as a solvent. It comes from light coal tar oil and chemically is C6H6. The use of glues and… …   Medical dictionary

  • benzene — n. a colourless carcinogenic volatile liquid found in coal tar, petroleum, etc., and used as a solvent and in the manufacture of plastics etc. Usage: Chem. formula: C6H6 Phrases and idioms: benzene ring the hexagonal unsaturated ring of six… …   Useful english dictionary

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