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[fuh-nan-threen] /fəˈnæn θrin/
noun, Chemistry.
a colorless, shiny, crystalline, water-insoluble isomer of anthracene, C 1 4 H 1 0 , derived from coal tar: used chiefly in dyestuffs and in the synthesis of drugs.
Origin of phenanthrene
1880-85; phen- + anthr- + -ene Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for phenanthrene
Historical Examples
  • phenanthrene forms a quinone which has been utilized as a source of colouring-matters, but these are comparatively unimportant.

    Coal Raphael Meldola
  • The next members are the isomers anthracene and phenanthrene, C14H10, formed from three benzene nuclei.

British Dictionary definitions for phenanthrene


a colourless crystalline aromatic compound isomeric with anthracene: used in the manufacture of dyes, drugs, and explosives. Formula: C14H10
Word Origin
C19: from pheno- + anthracene
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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phenanthrene in Medicine

phenanthrene phe·nan·threne (fə-nān'thrēn')
A colorless crystalline hydrocarbon obtained by fractional distillation of coal-tar oils and used in drugs.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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phenanthrene in Science
A colorless, crystalline hydrocarbon obtained by fractional distillation of coal-tar oils and used in dyes, drugs, and explosives. Phenanthrene is an isomer of anthracene and has three benzene rings fused together but not arranged in a straight line. Chemical formula: C14H10.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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