Definition of alkane in English:



  • Any of the series of saturated hydrocarbons including methane, ethane, propane, and higher members.

    • ‘Because the salts of these ions and the alkane sulfonates and alkyl hydrogen sulfates are largely water soluble, the detergent remains dispersed in the water.’
    • ‘This method of production is still used although oxidation of methane, pyrolysis of alkanes, and cracking of hydrocarbons are more commonly encountered.’
    • ‘Furthermore, there was no evidence of ethyl esters, dimers, alkanes or alkenes, which might be expected for an oxidative reaction.’
    • ‘In some yeast species, peroxisomes may be induced by growth on methanol, alkanes, fatty acids, and cadmium.’
    • ‘Paraffin waxes are mixtures of high molecular weight alkanes, and therefore are not esters.’


Late 19th century: from alkyl + -ane.