Pronunciation: (eth'u-lēn"), [key] Chem.
containing the ethylene group.
Also called ethene, olefiant gas. a colorless, flammable gas, C2H4, having a sweet, unpleasant odor and taste, the first member of the ethylene series, usually obtained from petroleum and natural gas: used as an agent to improve the color of citrus fruits, in the synthesis of polyethylene, ethylene dibromide, ethylene oxide, and other organic compounds, and in medicine chiefly as an inhalation anesthetic.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.