[ kree-uh-soht ]
/ ˈkri əˌsoʊt /


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.

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)

Related forms

cre·o·sot·ic [kree-uh-sot-ik] /ˌkri əˈsɒt ɪk/, adjectiveun·cre·o·sot·ed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for creosote

British Dictionary definitions for creosote


/ (ˈkrɪəˌsəʊt) /


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


to treat (wood) with creosote

Derived Forms

creosotic (ˌkrɪəˈsɒtɪk), adjective

Word Origin for creosote

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

Science definitions for creosote


[ krēə-sōt′ ]

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