[ kree-uh-soht ]

  1. an oily liquid having a burning taste and a penetrating odor, obtained by the distillation of coal and wood tar, used mainly as a preservative for wood and as an antiseptic.

verb (used with object),cre·o·sot·ed, cre·o·sot·ing.
  1. to treat with creosote.

Origin of creosote

<German Kreosote (1832) <Greek kreo-, combining form of kréas flesh + sōtēr savior, preserver (in reference to its antiseptic properties)

Other words from creosote

  • cre·o·sot·ic [kree-uh-sot-ik], /ˌkri əˈsɒt ɪk/, adjective
  • un·cre·o·sot·ed, adjective

Words Nearby creosote Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use creosote in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for creosote


/ (ˈkrɪəˌsəʊt) /

  1. a colourless or pale yellow liquid mixture with a burning taste and penetrating odour distilled from wood tar, esp from beechwood, contains creosol and other phenols, and is used as an antiseptic

  2. Also called: coal-tar creosote a thick dark liquid mixture prepared from coal tar, containing phenols: used as a preservative for wood

  1. to treat (wood) with creosote

Origin of creosote

C19: from Greek kreas flesh + sōtēr preserver, from sōzein to keep safe

Derived forms of creosote

  • creosotic (ˌkrɪəˈsɒtɪk), adjective

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

Scientific definitions for creosote


[ krēə-sōt′ ]

  1. A yellow or brown oily liquid obtained from coal tar and used as a wood preservative and disinfectant.

  2. A colorless to yellowish oily liquid containing phenols, obtained by the destructive distillation of wood tar, especially from the wood of a beech, and formerly used as an expectorant in treating chronic bronchitis.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.