-yl -yl [Gr. ? wood, material.] (Chem.) A suffix used as a characteristic termination of chemical radicals; as in ethyl, carbonyl, hydroxyl, etc. [1913 Webster]

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.

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