Meaning of benzalkonium chloride

ben•zal•ko'ni•um chlo'ride

Pronunciation: (ben"zal-kō'nē-um), [key]
— Chem. Chem.
  1. a white or yellowish-white, water-soluble mixture of ammonium chloride derivatives having the structure CHNRCl, where R is a mixture of radicals ranging from CH– to CH–, that occurs as an amorphous powder or in gelatinous lumps: used chiefly as an antiseptic and a disinfectant.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.