- -ene hydrocarbon suffix, from Gk. name-forming suffic -ene; it has no real meaning in itself; probably abstracted mid-19c. from METHYLENE (Cf. methylene) (1834). Put in systematic use by Hofmann (1865). "The breakdown of methylene into methyl and -ene, and the identification of the last syllable of methyl with the general suffix -ly, led to the use of meth- as a separate combining-element, as, for example, in methane, methacrylic [Flood].
Etymology dictionary. 2014.