noun[mass noun] Chemistry
A white crystalline compound present in oil of thyme and used as a flavouring and preservative.
- Alternative name: 2-isopropyl-5-methylphenol; chemical formula: C10H13OH
- Other natural antimicrobials include the phenolic compounds thymol, found in thyme, oregano and sage, and eugenol, the main flavour ingredient of cloves and allspice.
- Listerine also contains essential oils from herbs including eucalyptol, thymol, methyl salicylate and menthol.
- Several of these - sage, rosemary, thyme, horsebalm and mountain dittany - are rich in thymol and carvacrol, compounds that help muscles relax.
Mid 19th century: from Greek thumon 'thyme' + -ol.
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