[ fuh-nan-threen ]
/ fəˈnæn θrin /
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noun Chemistry.

a colorless, shiny, crystalline, water-insoluble isomer of anthracene, C14H10, derived from coal tar: used chiefly in dyestuffs and in the synthesis of drugs.



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Origin of phenanthrene

First recorded in 1880–85; phen(o)- + anthr(ac)ene
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021
  • 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

/ (fɪˈnænθriːn) /


a colourless crystalline aromatic compound isomeric with anthracene: used in the manufacture of dyes, drugs, and explosives. Formula: C 14 H 10
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

Medical definitions for phenanthrene

[ fə-nănthrēn′ ]


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.

Scientific definitions for phenanthrene

[ fə-nănthrēn′ ]

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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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