One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A flammable oil containing various hydrocarbons, obtained by the dry distillation of organic substances such as coal, shale, or petroleum.
- ‘To avoid having sodium react with oxygen or water vapor in the air, it is usually stored under kerosene, naphtha, or some other organic liquid with which it does not react.’
- ‘They are, however, susceptible to shrinkage from exposure to solvents containing naphtha or turpentine.’
- ‘Hancock and Charles Macintosh solved that problem in the early 1820s by dissolving rubber in naphtha instead.’
- ‘The temblor and subsequent aftershocks are believed to have dislodged the cover of the tank, which was filled with 26,000 kiloliters of naphtha - a highly flammable petroleum byproduct.’
- ‘Use a good grade of naphtha, isopropyl alcohol, or butyl cellosolve on polycarbonate domes.’
Late Middle English napte, from Latin naphtha from Greek, of oriental origin; the Latin spelling was introduced in the late 16th century.
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