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A volatile liquid obtained from coal tar, having physical and chemical properties similar to those of benzene; it occurs as three isomers; m-, o-, and p-xylol; used as a solvent, in the manufacture of chemicals and synthetic fibers, and in histology as a clearing agent.
Synonym(s): dimethylbenzene, xylene


/xy·lene/ (zi´lēn)
1. dimethylbenzene; any of three isomeric hydrocarbons, C6H4(CH3)2, from methyl alcohol or coal tar.
2. a mixture of all three isomers, with uses including solvent and clarifier, protective coating, and in various syntheses.

xylene (zī´lēn),

n a colorless, flammable fluid used as a solvent and clarifying agent in the preparation of tissue sections for microscopic study. Also called
xylol; C6H4[CH3]2


an organic solvent used industrially and as a cleaning agent and fat solvent in microscopy. Narcotic if inhaled in high concentration.