Acetone – Definition & Meaning

Acetone is a colorless, flammable, and volatile liquid that is commonly used as a solvent. It is a ketone with the chemical formula C3H6O and is an important industrial chemical. Acetone has a distinct odor and is highly flammable, making it a hazardous substance if not handled properly.


Acetone is defined as a colorless, volatile, and flammable liquid that is used as a solvent, especially in the manufacture of plastics, synthetic fibers, and pharmaceuticals. It is also used as a cleaning agent, in nail polish remover, and in the production of explosives.


Acetone was first discovered in the late 1800s by the French chemist Charles Friedel. He discovered the compound while studying the reaction between acetic acid and anhydride. The name “acetone” comes from the Latin word “acetum,” meaning vinegar, and the suffix “-one,” indicating a ketone.

Meaning in different dictionaries

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, acetone is defined as “a volatile fragrant flammable liquid ketone C3H6O used chiefly as a solvent and in organic synthesis and found in abnormal quantities in diabetic urine.”
The Oxford English Dictionary defines acetone as “a colorless volatile liquid ketone used as a solvent, chiefly in the manufacture of plastics and synthetic fibers.”


Acetone is commonly associated with nail polish remover, as it is a key ingredient in many nail polish removers. It is also used in the production of plastics, synthetic fibers, and pharmaceuticals. Acetone is highly flammable and should be handled with caution.


Some synonyms for acetone include dimethyl ketone, propanone, and 2-propanone.


As acetone is a chemical compound, it does not have any antonyms.

The same root words

Acetone is derived from the Latin word “acetum,” meaning vinegar. Other words derived from this root include acetic acid, acetate, and acetylene.

Example Sentences

  1. I spilled acetone on my shirt and it left a stain.
  2. The production of synthetic fibers requires the use of acetone.
  3. Acetone is commonly used as a cleaning agent in laboratories.
  4. Nail polish remover contains acetone as a key ingredient.
  5. The flammability of acetone makes it important to handle with care.
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