One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A colourless, crystalline, synthetic compound, C(CH₂OH)₄, which is a tetrahydric alcohol and is used as a raw material in chemical manufacture, especially of paints and varnishes.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in Journal of the Chemical Society. From penta- + erythritol, after German Penta-Erythrit.
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