(Science: chemistry) A nitrogenous base found in coal tar, bone oil, and other distillates of organic substances, and also produced synthetically as a colourless liquid, C4H5N, having on odour like that of chloroform. It is the nucleus and origin of a large number of derivatives. So called because it colours a splinter of wood moistened with hydrochloric acid a deep red.
Origin: Gr. Flame-coloured (from fire) _ L. Oleum oil.