- -yl -yl [Gr. ? wood, material.] (Chem.)
A suffix used as a characteristic termination of chemical
radicals; as in ethyl, carbonyl, hydroxyl, etc.
Note: -yl was first used in 1832 by Liebig and W["o]hler 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. [1913 Webster]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.