Definition of chloral in English:



mass nounChemistry
  • 1A colourless, viscous liquid made by chlorinating acetaldehyde.

    Chemical formula: CCl₃CHO

    • ‘More preferably, the halogen-containing aldehyde, acetal or hemiacetal is selected from trichloroethanal, 2,2, 2-trichloro - 1-ethoxy ethanol and mixtures thereof.’
    • ‘DDT is produced from the chlorobenzene and trichloroethanal (trichloroacetaldehyde or chloral), which react in the presence of concentrated sulfuric acid.’
    • ‘When dissolved in water, trichloroethanal exists primarily in its hydrate form, chloral hydrate (commonly known as ‘knock-out drops’).’
    1. 1.1
      short for chloral hydrate
      • ‘Up to his neck in the reputedly healing waters, Daudet read Montaigne; and in private consumed huge amounts of morphine, chloral and bromide in an attempt to palliate his excruciating pains.’
      • ‘Depressed about losing Lucy, he considers taking chloral to sleep, but decides against it.’
      • ‘He had given up painting in 1878 and existed in the bohemian squalor of his Chelsea mansion, in a state of deep melancholy, sustained by a diet of 180 grains of chloral a day, washed down with whisky.’
      • ‘If chlorine gas is bubbled through ethanal, the hydrogen atoms of the methyl group are replaced by chlorine atoms to give chloral.’


Mid 19th century: from French, blend of chlore ‘chlorine’ and alcool ‘alcohol’.