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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ No aromatic oils, vapour rubs, smelly nasal decongestants like menthol or eucalyptus etc.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

menthol \men"thol\, n. [Mentha + -ol.] (Chem.) A white, crystalline, aromatic substance ( C10H20O) resembling camphor, extracted from oil of peppermint ( Mentha); -- called also mint camphor or peppermint camphor. It has the peculiar effect on skin and membranes of making them feel cool, and is used in liqueurs, confections, cigarettes, cough drops and perfumes, among other things.


Camphor \Cam"phor\ (k[a^]m"f[~e]r), n. [OE. camfere, F. camphre (cf. It. canfora, Sp. camfora, alcanfor, LL. canfora, camphora, NGr. kafoyra`), fr. Ar. k[=a]f[=u]r, prob. fr. Skr. karp[=u]ra.]

  1. A tough, white, aromatic resin, or gum, obtained from different species of the Laurus family, esp. from Cinnamomum camphara (the Laurus camphora of Linn[ae]us.). Camphor, C10H16O, is volatile and fragrant, and is used in medicine as a diaphoretic, a stimulant, or sedative.

  2. originally, a gum resembling ordinary camphor, obtained from a tree ( Dryobalanops aromatica formerly Dryobalanops camphora) growing in Sumatra and Borneo; now applied to its main constituent, a terpene alcohol obtainable as a white solid C10H18O, called also Borneo camphor, Malay camphor, Malayan camphor, camphor of Borneo, Sumatra camphor, bornyl alcohol, camphol, and borneol. The isomer from Dryobalanops is dextrorotatory; the levoratatory form is obtainable from other species of plants, and the racemic mixture may be obtained by reduction of camphor. It is used in perfumery, and for manufacture of its esters. See Borneol.

    Note: The name camphor is also applied to a number of bodies of similar appearance and properties, as cedar camphor, obtained from the red or pencil cedar ( Juniperus Virginiana), and peppermint camphor, or menthol, obtained from the oil of peppermint.

    Camphor oil (Chem.), name variously given to certain oil-like products, obtained especially from the camphor tree.

    Camphor tree, a large evergreen tree ( Cinnamomum Camphora) with lax, smooth branches and shining triple-nerved lanceolate leaves, probably native in China, but now cultivated in most warm countries. Camphor is collected by a process of steaming the chips of the wood and subliming the product.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

white crystalline substance, 1862, from German Menthol, coined 1861 by Alphons Oppenheim from Latin mentha "mint" (see mint (n.1)) + oleum "oil" (see oil (n.)). So called because it was first obtained from oil of peppermint.


n. 1 (context chemistry English) a cyclic monoterpene alcohol; the major component of the essential oil of peppermint; used in pharmaceutical preparations as an antitussive and antipruritic agent, as a nasal decongestant, and in menthol cigarettes 2 A menthol cigarette.


n. a lotion containing menthol which gives it a mint flavoring


Menthol is an organic compound made synthetically or obtained from corn mint, peppermint, or other mint oils. It is a waxy, crystalline substance, clear or white in color, which is solid at room temperature and melts slightly above. The main form of menthol occurring in nature is (−)-menthol, which is assigned the (1R,2S,5R) configuration. Menthol has local anesthetic and counterirritant qualities, and it is widely used to relieve minor throat irritation. Menthol also acts as a weak kappa opioid receptor agonist.

Menthol (data page)

This page provides supplementary chemical data on Menthol.

Usage examples of "menthol".

But his real concern was with the man who had smoked the menthol cigarette.

It was grim proof that Archie Hiller liked to smoke menthol cigarettes, and was worried enough by recent events to try to hide that fact!

Hiller asked me to find out if you got those menthol cigarettes all right.

He produced a package of a popular brand, after refusing the menthol cigarette which Cranston offered him.

Regina moved to a couch with her usual slight hobble, sat down, slipped her shoes off, and began to rub her forehead with a menthol stick.

He gave Jeb a quick hug, smelled the familiar scent of cinnamon chewing gum, spice aftershave and menthol muscle rub.

There were bobby pins dusted with powder, an empty pack of menthol cigarettes, plastic pens, paper clips in a chain, and a white cap from a shampoo bottle.

Boiled tobacco leaves, menthol cough drops, honey, mint leaves and whiskey.

Nancy Drew and sucking menthol cough drops, who could keep a secret.

I am suddenly consumed by nostalgia for the little girl who was me, who loved the fields and believed in God, who spent winter days home sick from school reading Nancy Drew and sucking menthol cough drops, who could keep a secret.

In the form in which Menthol is imported, it bears some resemblance to Epsom Salts, with which it is sometimes adulterated.

As Japanese Peppermint oil, after being freed from Menthol crystals, is inferior both in taste and odour to English and American oil, experiments have been made in Japan with the cultivation of English and American Peppermint, but so far without success.

The Corn Mint (Mentha arvensis) is the type species of the Japanese Menthol plant, but is not endowed with useful medicinal properties, great care indeed, as has been mentioned, having to be taken to eradicate it from Peppermint plantations, for if mingled with that valuable herb in distilling its strong odour affects the quality of the oil.

Marc lights a menthol cigarette, and says, Tm telling you, Sam, it was the Kennedys!

TRIXIE LEANS AGAINST THE COUNTER, smoking a menthol cigarette and glumly watching Marino pack a large ice chest with beer, luncheon meats, bottles of mustard and mayonnaise, and whatever his huge hands grab out of the refrigerator.