Mercaptan meaning

mər-kăptăn
Any of a class of thiol compounds analogous to the alcohols, characterized by the substitution of sulfur for oxygen in the OH radical and by strong, unpleasant odors; hydrosulfide.
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(chemistry) Any of a class of organic compounds of sulphur, (R1.S.R2); they tend to be foul-smelling. When R2 is a hydrogen atom, they are termed thiols or thioalcohols.
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Origin of mercaptan

  • German from Danish from Medieval Latin (corpus) mercurium captāns (a substance) seizing mercury mercurium accusative of mercurius mercury mercury Latin captāns present participle of captāre frequentative of capere to seize capture

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From German Mercaptan, coined from Latin mer(curius) (“mercury”) captan(s) (“capturing”).

    From Wiktionary