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1 definition found
 for Mercaptan
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Mercaptan \Mer*cap"tan\, n. [F., fr. NL. mercurius mercury + L.
     captans, p. pr. of captare to seize, v. intens. fr. capere.]
     (Chem.)
     Any one of series of compounds having an -SH radical
     attached to a carbon atom, also considered as hydrosulphides
     of alcohol radicals, in composition resembling the alcohols,
     but containing sulphur in place of oxygen, and hence called
     also the sulphur alcohols. In general, they are colorless
     liquids having a strong, repulsive, garlic odor. The name is
     specifically applied to ethyl mercaptan, C2H5SH. So called
     from its avidity for mercury, and other metals.
     [1913 Webster]

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