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phenol Line breaks: phe¦nol
Pronunciation: /ˈfiːnɒl/

Definition of phenol in English:


[mass noun] Chemistry
1A mildly acidic toxic white crystalline solid obtained from coal tar and used in chemical manufacture, and in dilute form (under the name carbolic) as a disinfectant.
Example sentences
  • Industrially, benzene is used in the manufacture of nylon, phenol, styrene (and by polymerization polystyrene), and cyclohexane.
  • Believing that not all samples of aniline oil worked consistently, Ziehl substituted phenol (carbolic acid) in its place.
  • He cited examples of two key raw materials namely phenol and aniline, which are required to manufacture leather chemicals, pigments, dyestuff and rubber chemicals.
1.1 [count noun] Any compound with a hydroxyl group linked directly to a benzene ring: many of these molecules are phenols
More example sentences
  • Furfural reacts with phenols, ketones, and esters as an aldehyde; removal of the aldehyde group yields furan, which is converted to tetrahydrofuran, used in the manufacture of nylon.
  • The warmer operating temperature of ale yeast encourages a faster, more vigorous fermentation that creates aromatic compounds known as phenols and esters.
  • Sebacic acid can be synthesized from phenols and cresols, but castor oil oxidation is considered a ‘greener’ process.


Mid 19th century: from French phénole, based on phène 'benzene'.



Pronunciation: /fɪˈnɒlɪk/
Example sentences
  • The diazonium salt can also be reacted and joined to phenolic groups and amines to give azo compounds.
  • Other natural antimicrobials include the phenolic compounds thymol, found in thyme, oregano and sage, and eugenol, the main flavour ingredient of cloves and allspice.
  • Varnishes may be based on phenolic, alkyd, epoxy or polyurethane resins.

Definition of phenol in:

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