solvent - compound with a strong capability to dissolve a given substance. The most common petroleum solvents are mineral spirits, xylene, toluene, hexane, heptane, and naphthas. Aromatic-type solvents have the highest solvency for organic chemical materials, followed by naphthenes and paraffins. In most applications the solvent disappears, usually by evaporation, after it has served its purpose. The evaporation rate of a solvent is very important in manufacture: rubber cements often require a fast-drying solvent, whereas rubber goods that must remain tacky during processing require a slower drying solvent. Solvents have a wide variety of industrial applications, including the manufacture of paints, inks, cleaning products, adhesives, and petrochemicals. Other types of solvents have important applications in refining. See printing ink solvent, solvent cutback, solvent extraction.