Etymology
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octane (n.)

hydrocarbon of the methane series, 1872, coined from oct- "eight" (see octa-) + -ane; so called because it has eight carbon atoms. A fuel's octane rating, in reference to its anti-knocking quality, is attested from 1932.

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Definitions of octane

octane (n.)
any isomeric saturated hydrocarbon found in petroleum and used as a fuel and solvent;
From wordnet.princeton.edu