Definition of chloroform in English:



  • [mass noun] A colourless, volatile, sweet-smelling liquid used as a solvent and formerly as a general anaesthetic.

    • ‘The literature cites the use of ether, chloroform, acetone and mineral oil as possible options.’
    • ‘These chemicals were mostly chlorinated solvents such as chloroform.’
    • ‘While he is dozy from drink, the ‘Little Nurse’ passes a cloth, on which she has dropped some liquid chloroform, in front of his face.’
    • ‘In early days, the dose of chloroform or of ether had to be sufficient to achieve all the required effects, but in modern practice the anaesthetic drug is used only to produce the loss of consciousness and amnesia.’
    • ‘Cholesterol is soluble in chloroform, ether, benzene, or hot alcohol and other organic solvents.’
    • ‘The hypophase was removed with a Pasteur pipette and the aqueous phase re-extracted with chloroform until it was colourless.’
    • ‘Finally, the drugs are recovered by using industrial solvents, such as acetone, ether, or chloroform.’
    • ‘These crystals are confirmed by their solubility in chloroform and ether.’
    • ‘It does not dissolve in water, although it does dissolve in many organic liquids, such as benzene, chloroform, and carbon disulfide.’
    • ‘In particular, chloroform would not hinder condensation reactions as water does.’
    • ‘Furthermore, the difference in molecular structures may lead to the difference in the solvent cavities formed by chloroform molecules.’
    • ‘I could give open mask chloroform or ether, but I might be arrested for doing it now.’
    • ‘This is a modified mixture of Carnoy's fluid containing absolute alcohol, chloroform, and glacial acetic acid.’
    • ‘In a first step, the two lipids were dissolved in chloroform and the solvent evaporated under vacuum overnight.’
    • ‘However, when chlorine combines with other materials in water, it forms chloroform and related chemicals called trihalomethanes.’
    • ‘The researchers used methanol, chloroform, hexane, or water to extract residues from pot sherds.’
    • ‘The methanol extract was evaporated and partitioned with n-hexane, benzene, trichloromethane, ethyl acetate and n-butanol, consecutively.’
    • ‘The last step in the process is to wash the methamphetamine in chloroform, tolulene or ether.’
    • ‘Some of the volatile substances in these products include toluene, chloroform, butane, propane, acetone, and many halogenated hydrocarbons.’
    • ‘The residue was chromatographed on a column of silica gel prepared with chloroform.’


  • Make (someone) unconscious with chloroform.

    ‘they terrorized residents, often chloroforming their victims’
    • ‘Once that clears up, Vainio turns his prey down a dark passage, chloroforming them again until all you can hear is their drugged, staggering heartbeats and the swaying neon of the red-light district.’
    • ‘I pretended to be asleep and held my breath when you tried to chloroform me, you idiot!’
    • ‘I've gotten chloroformed worse and stayed awake.’
    • ‘Within minutes our helpful staff members will be leaping out of your unmarked van to chloroform and tie-up the person or persons of your choosing.’
    • ‘There's a guestbook you can sign, detailing how you too are attracted to people who have been chloroformed, but you might run the fear of pressing the wrong button and have sleep gas come from your computer.’
    • ‘He chloroformed me’ she continued, and her eyes widened in comprehension as Jackson shot her a furtive glance, then glanced over at the nurse, who was listening to the exchange with interest.’
    • ‘I was chloroformed with only the slightest amount of hesitation by Angela, and my last thought was…’
    • ‘It's not as though unclaimed children are chloroformed and sold into slavery.’
    • ‘I understood now how it was the cat had howled until I chloroformed it.’
    • ‘The surgeon comes to look at Paul, who refuses to be chloroformed out of fear that they will amputate his leg.’
    • ‘The cops were chloroformed; he wasn't trying to draw too much attention.’
    • ‘As Marcus called Cole to explain that he was leaving town, he was attacked from behind and chloroformed.’
    • ‘Somebody sneaks in and chloroforms you, or sprays knock-out gas under your door, and while you are comatose and unresisting, your worldly goods are stripped.’
    • ‘Our other friends, who wanted to get some dinner, almost had to chloroform us to get us out of there.’
    • ‘And even worse, the headmistress' dog Trixie has been chloroformed and thrown down a well.’
    • ‘Mrs. Torpey chloroformed the jeweler, after which her husband restrained him and stole his merchandise.’
    • ‘Nothing to report for today, because it's a day of duty - I work at home on Mondays, and since this means chloroforming the baby and locking the dog in the garage, there are no heartwarming tales.’


Mid 19th century: from chloro- (representing chlorine) + form- from formic acid.