One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A crystalline hydrocarbon occurring naturally in coal tar and also made synthetically, used in the manufacture of polyimides and plastics.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in Henry Watts (1815–1884), chemist. From classical Latin dūrus hard + -ene, after German Durol, in the same sense; so called because it is solid at ordinary temperatures.
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