AskDefine | Define amyl

User Contributed Dictionary



From amylum + -yl. Compare with amidin.


  • a RP /ˈæmɪl/

Extensive Definition

The word or root amyl has two meanings, in organic chemistry and biochemistry.


In biochemistry, "amyl" means "pertaining to starch". Many moderately complex biological chemicals related to starch contain it, for example:-
Note that in this usage, it is a part of the word, and becomes "amylo" when preceding a consonant.


In organic chemistry, amyl is the old trivial name for the alkyl functional group and radical called pentyl under the IUPAC nomenclature: that is, -C5H11. This usage may derive from the presence of amyl alcohol in fusel oil, which is often fermented from starches. In this usage, amyl (normally) remains a separate word and it does not become "amylo-" before a consonant.
Several important amyl/pentyl compounds are still widely known by their older, amyl names, including:
There are eight possible isomers of amyl; see under pentyl for more information. Frequently chemicals sold commercially as amyl compounds will be a mixture of several isomers.


"Amyl" is also a slang term for amyl nitrite when used as a recreational drug.
"E-Amyl" is the name of the equivalent drug often sniffed by players of the game Second Life


"Amyl", used to mean "starch", was taken from Greek αμυλος = "cake made from fine flour", from α + μυλη = "not mill" because the flour used to make an αμυλος was not ground on the same grindstones as ordinary bread flour.

See also

amyl in Dutch: Amyl
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1