Ethanol, also called alcohol, ethyl alcohol, and drinking alcohol, is a chemical compound, a simple alcohol with the chemical formula C
5OH. Its formula can be written also as CH
2−OH or C
5−OH (an ethyl group linked to a hydroxyl group), and is often abbreviated as EtOH. Ethanol is a volatile, flammable, colorless liquid with a slight characteristic odor. It is a psychoactive substance and is the principal type of alcohol found in alcoholic drinks.