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(Science: chemistry) Any of a group of three metameric hydrocarbons of the aromatic series, found in coal and wood tar, and so named because found in crude wood spirit. They are colourless, oily, inflammable liquids, C6H4.(CH3)2, being dimethyl benzenes, and are called respectively orthoxylene, metaxylene, and paraxylene.

Synonym: xylol.

Each of these xylenes is the nucleus and prototype of a distinct series of compounds.

Origin: Gr. Xylon wood.