The word or root amyl has two meanings, in organic chemistry and biochemistry.


In biochemistry, "amyl" means "pertaining to starch". Many moderately complex biological chemicals related to starch contain it, for example:-

* Amylase
* Amylopectin
* Amylose

Note that in this usage, it is a part of the word, and becomes "amylo" when preceding a consonant.


In organic chemistry, amyl is the old trivial name for the alkyl functional group and radical called pentyl under the IUPAC nomenclature: that is, -C5H11. This usage may derive from the presence of amyl alcohol in fusel oil, which is often fermented from starches. In this usage, amyl (normally) remains a separate word and it does not become "amylo-" before a consonant.

Several important amyl/pentyl compounds are still widely known by their older, amyl names, including:

* Amylamine
* Amyl acetate
* Amyl alcohol
* Amyl nitrate
* Amyl nitrite

There are eight possible isomers of amyl; see under pentyl for more information. Frequently chemicals sold commercially as amyl compounds will be a mixture of several isomers.


"Amyl" is also a slang term for amyl nitrite when used as a recreational drug.

"E-Amyl" is the name of the equivalent drug often sniffed by players of the game Second Life


"Amyl", used to mean "starch", was taken from Greek αμυλος = "cake made from fine flour", from α + μυλη = "not mill" because the flour used to make an αμυλος was not ground on the same grindstones as ordinary bread flour.

See also

* Methyl
* Ethyl
* Propyl
* Butyl

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • amyl- — ⇒AMYL(O) , (AMYL , AMYLO )élément préf. Élément tiré du gr. signifiant « amidon », utilisé notamment pour la formation de termes de biol. et de chim. Amyl  : amylane, subst. fém. « hydrate de carbone tiré de l orge » (DUVAL 1959); cf. E.… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Amyl — steht für: einen sibirischen Fluss (russ. Амыл), siehe Amyl (Fluss) Der Wortbestandteil Amyl steht für: die Ableitung des lateinischen Amylum, siehe Stärke den Trivialname der Pentylgruppe …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Amyl — Am yl, n. [L. amylum starch + yl. Cf. {Amidin}.] (Chem.) A univalent hydrocarbon radical, {C5H11}, of the paraffine series found in amyl alcohol or fusel oil, etc. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • amyl... — amyl..., Amyl... vgl. ↑amylo..., Amylo …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • Amȳl — (Chem.), C10H11, Radical, in neuerer Zeit von Frankland dargestellt. Man erhält es durch Zersetzen von Amyljodür mittelst Zink, sowie bei der Elektrolyse der Capronsäure; farblose, durchsichtige Flüssigkeit von durchdringendem eigenthümlichem… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Amyl — C5H11, organisches Radikal, das im Amylalkohol und seinen Derivaten angenommen werden muß (s. Radikaltheorie) …   Lexikon der gesamten Technik

  • Amyl — 〈n. 11; Chem.〉 einwertiger aliphatischer Kohlenwasserstoffrest, chem. Formel C5H11 [<grch. amylon „Stärke“ + hyle „Stoff“] …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Amyl... — Amyl...   [lateinisch], veraltete Bezeichnung für Pentyl …   Universal-Lexikon

  • amyl — (n.) hydrocarbon radical, 1850, from L. amylum, from Gk. amylon fine meal, starch, noun use of neuter of adjective amylos not ground at the mill, ground by hand, from a , privative prefix, not + myle mill (see MILL (Cf. mill) (n.1)). So called… …   Etymology dictionary

  • amyl — [am′il] n. [ AM(YLUM) + YL] any of various isomeric forms of the radical C5H11 amylic [ə mil′ik] adj …   English World dictionary

  • amyl- — [am′il] combining form AMYLO : used before a vowel …   English World dictionary

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