Definition of methanol in US English:



  • A toxic, colorless, volatile flammable liquid alcohol, originally made by distillation from wood and now chiefly by oxidizing methane.

    Chemical formula: CH₃OH

    Also called methyl alcohol
    • ‘The fuel cell generates electricity as a by-product of a chemical reaction involving dilute methanol.’
    • ‘For instance, consider the difference between ethyl alcohol and methanol.’
    • ‘The nucleus suspension was fixed in methanol: acetic acid and air dried.’
    • ‘For example, the alcohol derivative of methane is methanol and of ethane is ethanol.’
    • ‘It will also act on other small molecules, including methanol and ethylene glycol.’


Late 19th century: from methane + -ol.