Amyl alcohol Am"yl al"co*hol (Org. Chem.) Any of eight isomeric liquid alcohols ({C5H11.OH}), transparent, colorless liquids. It is the hydroxide of amyl. Also called {amylic alcohol}. The amyl alcohol obtained from {fusel oil} is mostly isoamyl alcohol (3-methyl-1-butanol or 1-hydroxy-3-methylbutane), with some {sec-amyl alcohol} (2-methyl-1-butanol or {2-pentanol}), and has a characteristic peculiar odor. Other than {n-amyl alcohol} (also called {1-pentanol}) the other isomeric pentanols are not usually refered to as amyl alcohol. The amyl alcohol mixture in fusel oil forms a colorless liquid with a peculiar cough-exciting odor and burning taste. It is used as a source of amyl compounds, such as amyl acetate, amyl nitrite, etc. [Webster 1913 Suppl. +PJC]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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