Definition of carbolic in English:


Line breaks: car|bol¦ic
Pronunciation: /kɑːˈbɒlɪk


[mass noun]
1 (also carbolic acid) Phenol, especially when used as a disinfectant.
More example sentences
  • As a butcher and farmer, Garrett would have handled carbolic acid regularly as a disinfectant.
  • It was obviously impossible to kill microbes in the wound by means of heat as Pasteur had shown in his experiments, so Lister developed chemical methods to destroy the bacteria, initially carbolic acid.
  • They knew how disease was contracted and spread and how to disinfect surgical instruments and wounds with carbolic acid.
2 (also carbolic soap) Disinfectant soap containing phenol.
More example sentences
  • The implements of Vera's illegal trade are a syringe, carbolic soap, a cheese grater and some disinfectant.
  • Her world was ordered properly, leaving her nicely settled in her old age, free to sit comfortably through the long afternoons in a wholesome air of carbolic soap and lavender polish.
  • It would free us up time to get on with scrubbing ourselves with carbolic soap…


mid 19th century: from carbo- + -ol + -ic.

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cause (someone) to lose confidence or hope