Definition of dimethyl sulfoxide in US English:

dimethyl sulfoxide

(British dimethyl sulphoxide) (also DMSO)


  • A colorless liquid used as a solvent and synthetic reagent. It is readily able to penetrate the skin and is used in medicinal preparations for skin application.

    Chemical formula: (CH₃)₂SO

    • ‘The polar chemical dimethyl sulfoxide is a widely used reagent in cell biology.’
    • ‘Water insoluble compounds were given as a solution in dimethyl sulphoxide.’
    • ‘The aim of this study is to explore the fascinating suggestion that structural differences can be induced in hypericin by changing the solvent from a commonly used solvent such as dimethyl sulfoxide to tetrahydrofuran.’
    • ‘Dermal exposure of ricin is of little concern because the absorption amount is insignificant unless it is enhanced with a strong solvent such as dimethyl sulfoxide.’
    • ‘Although few studies have centered on the effects of hospital smells, one examined the effects of the odor of dimethyl sulfoxide in an oncology unit.’


dimethyl sulfoxide

/dīˌmeTHəl səlˈfäksīd/