From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: Methyl, méthyl, methyl-, and méthyl-


English Wikipedia has an article on:


Borrowed from German Methyl; compare French méthyle.

French chemists Jean-Baptiste Dumas and Eugene Peligot, after determining methanol's chemical structure, introduced "methylene" from the Ancient Greek μέθυ (méthu, wine) + ὕλη (húlē, wood, material) with the intention of highlighting its origins, "alcohol made from wood (substance)". The term "methyl" was derived in about 1840 by back-formation from "methylene", and was then applied to describe "methyl alcohol".



methyl (plural methyls)

  1. (organic chemistry) The univalent hydrocarbon radical, CH3-, formally derived from methane by the loss of a hydrogen atom; a compound or part of a compound formed by the attachment of such a radical.
    • 1973, Robert E. Cornish, Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies, page 119:
      You might point out in the theory of oxidation of oils, in development of rancidity in oils, that many methyls accelerate this oxidation of oils. I do not want to burden you with a lecture on chemistry but there are some methyls like iron which has both a valence of two and of three. Another example is cobalt which has a valence of both two and three.
    • 2003, Russell Timkovich, 73: The Family of d-Type Hemes: Tetrapyrroles with Unusual Substituents, Karl M. Kadish, Kevin M. Smith, Roger Guilard (editors), The Porphyrin Handbook, Volume 12: The Iron and Cobalt Pigments: Biosynthesis, Structure and Degradation, page 134,
      The southern acetates must be decarboxylated to methyls.
    • 2005, Bruce A. Hathaway, Organic Chemistry the Easy Way, page 38:
      The most stable form has the groups staggered and the methyls as far from each other as possible (DA[dihedral angle] = 180°).

Derived terms[edit]




From meth- +‎ -yl.


  • IPA(key): /meːˈtil/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: me‧thyl


methyl n (uncountable)

  1. (organic chemistry) methyl