Definition of naphtha in US English:

naphtha

noun

Chemistry
  • A flammable oil containing various hydrocarbons, obtained by the dry distillation of organic substances such as coal, shale, or petroleum.

    • ‘They are, however, susceptible to shrinkage from exposure to solvents containing naphtha or turpentine.’
    • ‘Hancock and Charles Macintosh solved that problem in the early 1820s by dissolving rubber in naphtha instead.’
    • ‘The temblor and subsequent aftershocks are believed to have dislodged the cover of the tank, which was filled with 26,000 kiloliters of naphtha - a highly flammable petroleum byproduct.’
    • ‘Use a good grade of naphtha, isopropyl alcohol, or butyl cellosolve on polycarbonate domes.’
    • ‘To avoid having sodium react with oxygen or water vapor in the air, it is usually stored under kerosene, naphtha, or some other organic liquid with which it does not react.’

Origin

Late Middle English napte, from Latin naphtha from Greek, of oriental origin; the Latin spelling was introduced in the late 16th century.

Pronunciation