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From Biology-Online Dictionary
(Science: chemistry, suffix) a suffix used as a characteristic termination of chemical radicals; as in ethyl, carbonyl, hydroxyl, etc.
The suffix was first used in 1832 by Liebig and Wohler in naming benzoyl, in the sense of stuff, or fundamental material, then in 1834 by dumas and Peligot in naming methyl, in the sense of wood. After this -yl was generally used as in benzoyl, in the sense of stuff, characteristic ground, fundamental material.
Origin: gr. Wood, material.