from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A flammable, colorless or yellowish liquid base, C5H5N, having a penetrating odor and serving as the parent compound of many biologically important derivatives. It is used as a solvent and waterproofing agent and in the manufacture of various drugs and vitamins.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of a class of aromatic heterocyclic compounds containing a ring of five carbon atoms and an nitrogen atom; especially the simplest one, C5H5N.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A nitrogenous base, C5H5N, obtained from the distillation of bone oil or coal tar, and by the decomposition of certain alkaloids, as a colorless liquid with a peculiar pungent odor. It is the nucleus of a large number of organic substances, among which several vegetable alkaloids, as nicotine and certain of the ptomaïnes, may be mentioned. See lutidine.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A colorless liquid (C5H5N) of pungent odor, derived from coal-tar, and useful in allaying asthmatic paroxysms.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a toxic colorless flammable liquid organic base with a disagreeable odor; usually derived from coal


pyr(o)- + -id(e) + -ine2.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)



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