naphtha

n.

  1. The complex mixture of volatile, liquid, inflammable hydrocarbons, occurring naturally, and usually called crude petroleum, mineral oil, or rock oil. Specifically: That portion of the distillate obtained in the refinement of petroleum which is intermediate between the lighter gasoline and the heavier benzine, and has a specific gravity of about 0.7, -- used as a solvent for varnishes, as a carburetant, illuminant, etc.
  2. One of several volatile inflammable liquids obtained by the distillation of certain carbonaceous materials and resembling the naphtha from petroleum; as, Boghead naphtha, from Boghead coal (obtained at Boghead, Scotland); crude naphtha, or light oil, from coal tar; wood naphtha, from wood, etc.