Also found in: Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to mercaptan: ethyl mercaptan


See thiol.

[German, from Danish, from Medieval Latin (corpus) mercurium captāns, (a substance) seizing mercury : mercurium, accusative of mercurius, mercury; see mercury + Latin captāns, present participle of captāre, frequentative of capere, to seize; see capture.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Elements & Compounds) another name (not in technical usage) for thiol
[C19: from German, from Medieval Latin mercurium captans, literally: seizing quicksilver]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(mərˈkæp tæn)

any of a class of odiferous sulfur-containing compounds having the type formula RSH, where R represents a radical.
Also called thiol.
[< German (1834), shortening of Latin phrase corpus mercurium captāns body capturing quicksilver]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Meteorologist Ava Marie is now celebrity judge of the Captain Mercaptan educational contest
The readings were aimed at tracing Acrolein, Acrylonitrile, Methyl Mercaptan and Benzene, as part of air quality monitoring activities undertaken by the department.
Chemical Safety Board, comments on the findings of the board's investigation into the release of methyl mercaptan at the DuPont Plant in La Porte, Texas, that killed four workers.
In particular, the document limits oil content of hydrogen sulfide, methyl mercaptan, ethyl mercaptan and other hazardous chemical compounds.
Because natural gas is colourless and odourless, companies often add Mercaptan or methanethiol, which has a pungent smell likened to rotten eggs, to make it easier to detect.
There were also reports the smell was due to a leak of an odorant called Mercaptan, which is added to gas (which has no scent) to help people realise when a leak happens.
The scent being used for the scratch-and-sniff contains Mercaptan, the same odorant that is added to natural gas to make it noticeable.
The most common type is one that adds a mercaptan liquid into natural gas distribution systems so that leaks can be readily detected.
15 2014, veteran operator Crystal Rae Wise opened a faulty valve on a pipe carrying methyl mercaptan, a chemical used to manufacture DuPont's popular insecticide called Lannate.
(1) If the redox potential of a must is not increased during [H.sup.2]S formation (aerated must), the [H.sup.2]S can react with other compounds such as ethanol and sulfur-containing amino acids to form mercaptans (most notably, methyl mercaptan).