Pronunciation: (fôr-mal'du-hīd", fur-), [key]
a colorless, toxic, potentially carcinogenic, water-soluble gas, CH2O, having a suffocating odor, usually derived from methyl alcohol by oxidation: used chiefly in aqueous solution, as a disinfectant and preservative, and in the manufacture of various resins and plastics. Also called methanal. Cf. formalin.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.