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phosgene Syllabification: phos·gene
Pronunciation: /ˈfäsjēn/

Definition of phosgene in English:


A colorless poisonous gas made by the reaction of chlorine and carbon monoxide. It was used as a poison gas, notably in World War I.
  • Alternative name: carbonyl chloride; chemical formula: COCl2
Example sentences
  • New agents, notably phosgene (an asphyxiating agent) and mustard (a blister agent called a vesicant), had been developed and used.
  • The primary gaseous agents used were chlorine, phosgene, a combination of the two, and mustard gas.
  • However, its immediate precursor compound, thiodiglycol, is used industrially, although in quantities that don't come anywhere near chlorine or phosgene.


Early 19th century: from Greek phōs 'light' + -gen, with reference to its original production by the action of sunlight on chlorine and carbon monoxide.

Words that rhyme with phosgene

indigene • hygiene
Definition of phosgene in:
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