naph·tha / ˈnaf[unvoicedth]ə; ˈnap-/ • n. Chem. a flammable oil containing various hydrocarbons, obtained by the dry distillation of organic substances such as coal, shale, or petroleum.
naphtha Any of several volatile liquid-hydrocarbon mixtures. Naphtha first appears in the writings of Pliny the Elder in the 1st century. Alchemists used the word for various liquids of low boiling point. Several types of products are now called naphtha, including coal-tar naphtha and petroleum naphtha.
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