Definition of butane in US English:



  • A flammable hydrocarbon gas that is a constituent of petroleum and is used in bottled form as a fuel. It is a member of the alkane series.

    Chemical formula: CH₃CH₂CH₂CH₃

    See also isobutane
    • ‘Sgt Tim Bright, of York police, warned: ‘Solvents and butane can and do kill young people the first time they try them.’’
    • ‘Mr Edwards explained that deodorants and other aerosols contain propellants, like butane, to dry the particles.’
    • ‘Sudden sniffing death is particularly associated with abuse of butane, propane and chemicals in aerosols.’
    • ‘The remaining butane and methane are recycled and reused to fuel the process.’
    • ‘He filmed them apparently putting butane gas into a bottle and setting fire to it.’


Late 19th century: from butyl + -ane.